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A dental filling is commonly used to treat cavities, but it can also be used to repair cracked, fractured or otherwise damaged teeth. Fillings restore the natural shape and appearance of a tooth, eliminate pain and allow for natural functioning of the mouth when chewing, drinking or talking. A filling also protects the mouth by removing decay and preventing it from spreading to the root or bone.
There are a variety of different materials that can be used to fill a tooth. At Exclusive Dental Practice, we work with each patient to determine the best material based on their needs, budget and the size and location of the damaged tooth. Filling materials include:
Amalgam – An inexpensive material that is tolerant to wear. This material is dark silver in color and not always the best choice for permanent teeth or teeth in more noticeable locations within the mouth.
Composite resins – Custom made to closely match the color of a patient’s natural teeth, composite typically lasts between 3 and 10 years. While aesthetically pleasing, it is not always ideal for very large fillings as it may chip or wear with time.
Porcelain – Not fillings in and of themselves, porcelain inlays or onlays are custom created in a lab and then permanently bonded to the tooth. This material is relatively easy to precisely match to the color of existing teeth. It typically covers most of the existing tooth, making the filling nearly impossible to detect.
The dental filling procedure is minimally invasive and causes little, if any, discomfort. Local anesthetic is used to keep patients comfortable will the tooth is prepared and the filling is placed. In most cases, the entire procedure only requires one visit to our office, and the patient can resume normal eating and drinking as soon as the anesthetic wears off.
Tooth pain, sensitivity or a change in the color of your tooth all may indicate decay or damage. In many cases, a dental filling offers a safe and effective way to restore dental health. If you have any of these concerns, call and schedule a consult with Exclusive Dental Practice today.