What is a tooth filling?
A tooth filling is a dental procedure that is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged or decayed. During the procedure, a filling material is placed into the cavity or hole in the tooth to restore its original shape, function, and appearance.
The purpose of a tooth filling is to prevent further decay, restore the tooth’s strength, and restore or improve its appearance.
Like when comparing durability of different dental veneers, there are several types of tooth fillings, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Amalgam fillings, which are made of a mixture of metals including silver, mercury, tin, and copper, are strong, durable, and long-lasting. Composite fillings, which are made of a mixture of plastic and glass, are tooth-coloured and blend in seamlessly with natural teeth, making them ideal for use in front teeth. Gold fillings are also a popular option and are known for their strength and longevity, but they are more expensive than other types of fillings.
Tooth fillings can help to restore the appearance, function, and health of damaged or decayed teeth. They can prevent further decay, improve bite function, and reduce sensitivity or pain in the affected tooth. With proper care and maintenance, tooth fillings can last for several years and help to maintain good oral health.
The Process of a Tooth Filling
A tooth filling procedure is a straightforward process performed in dentist offices across Australia. The process is relatively simple and can be outlined in four steps.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of what you can expect during a tooth filling:
Before the procedure, your dentist will examine the affected tooth and take X-rays to determine the extent of the decay. They will also numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort during the procedure.
Once the area is numb, your dentist will use a drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. This process will create a clean, cavity-free surface that is ready to be filled.
After the decay is removed, your dentist will prepare the cavity for the filling material. They will clean and shape the cavity to ensure a snug fit for the filling. Then, they will place the filling material into the cavity and use a special light or heat to harden it in place.
After the filling is in place, your dentist will check your bite to make sure it is comfortable and functional. They will also make any necessary adjustments to the filling to ensure a good fit and proper bite.
The entire tooth-filling procedure typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour and can be performed in one appointment. With modern dental techniques, the procedure is relatively painless, and most patients report little to no discomfort during or after the procedure.
It’s important to keep in mind that the specifics of the tooth filling procedure can vary depending on the type of filling, the extent of the decay, and the individual patient. However, the general steps outlined above provide a good overview of what you can expect during a tooth filling.
How long does a tooth filling last?
The length of time a tooth filling takes can vary depending on several factors, including:
- the type of filling
- the extent of the damage,
- and the number of teeth that need to be filled
On average, a tooth-filling procedure typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour. For simple cases, such as a small cavity in a single tooth, the procedure can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. More complex cases, such as in the case of multiple cavities or the need for a large filling, may mean a little bit of a longer time in the chair.
Additionally, the length of the procedure can also be influenced by the type of filling being used. For example, composite fillings typically take longer to place than amalgam fillings.
It’s important to note that the length of the tooth-filling procedure can vary from case to case, and your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs. During your consultation, they will evaluate the extent of the damage and the type of filling is used to give you a more accurate estimate of the length of the procedure.
If you’re in need of a tooth filling
Tooth fillings are a common and effective way to repair damaged or decayed teeth, restoring their appearance, function, and health.
If you’re on the Sunshine Coast, be sure to visit Dentistry on Coolum for your dental needs. Our clinic is located in the heart of Coolum Beach and has been providing Sunshine Coast tooth filling services to the local community for many years. We are committed to providing high-quality dental care with honesty, friendliness, and a welcoming smile each and every time.
Whether you have a cavity or other damage to your teeth, a filling can help to prevent further decay and restore your smile. If you’re in need of a tooth filling, or suspect one may be necessary, be sure to talk to the team at Dentistry on Coolum about your options and what to expect during the procedure.
With proper care and attention, your filling can last for many years, allowing you to enjoy good oral health and a beautiful smile. So why wait? Book an appointment with us today and get your tooth filling on the Sunshine Coast with the experts at Dentistry on Coolum!