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Do I Really Need a Filling?

At LIFE Dentistry, we like to take the mystery out of dental care so that you feel confident about your oral health and treatment! If you’ve recently had a cavity or brought your children in for preventative dentistry, chances are a tooth-colored filling could be in your near future.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings repair and restore teeth damaged by decay and fill holes left behind by cavities. By creating a seal so that bacteria cannot enter, the filling also helps to prevent additional decay.

Modern dentistry offers a variety of filling materials, and advancements in technology make the procedure more efficient and simple than ever. The most common types of filling are composite resin, gold, porcelain, and silver amalgam.

Father and son smiling in Boulder, CO

 

Why Are Dental Fillings Necessary?

When tooth decay and/or fractures occur on the inside of the tooth, it is exposed to harmful decay and bacteria. Getting these damaged areas filled are beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Preventing damage to the tooth nerve
  • Preventing additional damage from dental injury or tooth decay
  • Restoring the function, strength, and durability to the tooth
  • Adding another level of protection from future cavities and/or decay
  • Reducing tooth loss

Do Fillings Hurt?

No! Dentistry now boasts sophisticated technology that greatly reduces pain and discomfort. For most patients, local anesthesia is perfect for numbing the area where you cavity is filled so that the only sensation you may feel is a mild pressure as your dentist eliminates tooth decay.

First, Dr. Martin removes all of the dead and decaying material from your damaged tooth so that the filling can be inserted. Next, he or she will use one of the materials previously mentioned to fill the area and seal off completely so that bacteria or other debris cannot enter and cause irritation or damage in the future.

Girl getting a checkup with her family dentist.

 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Dental Filling?

Typically it’s fair to say that it’s about an hour long procedure. However, this depends on the size and location of the crack or cavity, and how many fillings you may need.

There is no limit on how many fillings you can get in one appointment, aside from how much time you can allot in your personal schedule and how long you can manage keeping your mouth open for an extended period of time!

How Do I Care For My Dental Fillings?

Great question! Following the procedure, it is safe to eat once the anesthetic wears off. This enables you to feel the food you are chewing and reduces the risk of accidentally biting a part of your mouth, tongue, or cheek. We do recommend avoiding tougher materials such as anything sticky, crunchy, or hard for a few hours.

Most dental fillings can last for about ten years with the proper care: brushing and flossing every day, visiting your local dentist for professional cleanings to expertly remove plaque and bacteria buildup that your daily routine cannot, and eating a diet full of healthy vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.

Gentle Family Dentistry In Lafayette

Whether you need one fillings or five, Dr. Martin, along with his team at LIFE Dentistry, is committed to providing you with the highest in quality care so that your smile looks–and feels–its absolute best! Please give us a call or stop by today!

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