What is a Tooth Filling? – Understanding the Basics

Tooth fillings are one of the most common types of dental procedures. Odds are you have one or at least know someone with one. But whether you do or not, knowing more about them is a good idea since it will help you understand just what the procedure means. It isn’t hard to understand and will make it easy to schedule that next visit with the dentist. If you’re facing the need for tooth fillings, there are just a few simple things you’ll want to know. Basically, a tooth filling is an application done to replace a portion of a missing tooth. The most obvious example is in situations involving cavities. These holes occur within the tooth and damage the structure of the tooth. Along with causing potential pain, having damaged areas of the tooth can lead to greater problems since they may allow food and bacteria to spread within the tooth, creating serious problems. As a result, getting a filling is a good idea and one that takes little time and very little discomfort. Most dentists can complete the process very quickly and leave your mouth much healthier. A filling is normally made from alloys that match the tooth color or from metals like gold and titanium. You’ll often have the option of which you prefer and some such as gold are much more expensive than others. Whichever you select, the procedure will be largely the same. The dentist will begin by numbing the tooth and the area around it. Then they’ll remove the decayed and damaged area with a drill or laser, leaving only healthy tooth material behind. This is an important step vital for success with the filling. The filling itself will normally be applied in small layers with each layer being light-cured so it can set properly. Once a layer is set, the next layer will be applied until the entire space is filled. That’s the extent of the process and once it’s done, fillings can last for decades in most cases especially with regular dental care. It’s a simple and very affordable procedure. It’s also vital for preventing large-scale, more serious problems. If your dentist suggests that you have a filling, it’s important you listen to their suggestions and have it done as soon as you can.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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