A filling restores your tooth to its original shape after it has been damaged by decay. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed and then the tooth is filled with a material that restores its strength and prevents further decay.
At Western Iowa Dental, our dentist will first numb the area with a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel discomfort during the procedure. Once you’re ready, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing all traces of decay and shaping it for a filling. They will then fill the cavity with the material of your choice. This typically takes only one visit but occasionally requires two visits.
Different Types of Fillings
Gold used to be one of the most common materials used for restoring a tooth. However, gold filings aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing because they stand out on the teeth. For this reason, gold fillings aren’t used for teeth that are visible when you smile.
Composite resin is a mixture of plastic and glass-like particles in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. This material is durable and lasts longer than other materials. It is used in cosmetic bonding and as a restorative material for decayed or damaged parts of teeth.
Metal or amalgam fillings are made of silver, tin, copper, and other metals blended into a hard substance. While not aesthetically appealing, metal fillings are more economical and durable. They are popular in back teeth, where aesthetics are less of an issue.
Porcelain is a white ceramic material that matches the color of natural enamel, which is why it’s often used for front teeth restorations. It can be shaped and colored to resemble a natural tooth so that only you and your dentist know you have a restoration.
Glass ionomer is a combination of glass powders mixed with an acrylic resin, producing a filling material that hardens quickly and matches the color of natural teeth. These fillings are also less sensitive to pressure and temperature, making them an excellent all-around choice for restorations.
Procedure for Fillings
Before our dentist places the filling, they must prepare the tooth for the filling material. This will involve removing any decay and creating a space that is slightly bigger than the damaged area. The space will then be cleaned and shaped to properly hold the filling. Next, our dentist will insert the filling material and shape it to ensure it fits correctly before hardening it using an ultraviolet light or a dental laser. This will allow the filling to harden quickly.
For the best dental care, visit Western Iowa Dental at 1509 Ave G, Council Bluffs, IA 51501, or call (712) 325-1544.