Getting a filling is not the same experience it was twenty or even ten years ago. Today, patients can come to Trailhead Dental with very little anxiety or trepidation and can expect to receive a comfortable and lasting solution for their dental needs. When it comes to getting fillings, many people have questions and concerns, and the Trailhead Dental team is here to help.
How do Dental Fillings Work?
Fillings are used to rebuild areas of your teeth where decay has broken down the enamel and invaded the inner portion of a tooth. After the dentist numbs the area, a very small portion of the surrounding tooth material is removed, and the filling material is carefully inserted into the space.
Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Regardless of how advanced dental technology has become, the most important thing to address regarding a filling is how to make changes to prevent further tooth decay.
At Trailhead Dental, our team works with each patient to determine their specific set of dental needs, including how to prevent tooth decay. If a patient is consuming a lot of sugary food and beverages, then we talk about how dietary changes can promote healthy teeth and gums. If poor dental hygiene is the root of the issue, then we work to improve brushing and flossing habits.
What Types of Fillings are Available?
There are two main types of fillings: composite resin (which are shaded to match your natural teeth) and amalgam (which are silver in color.) Amalgam fillings have been in use for decades and provide a fast and affordable solution to addressing cavities. Composite resin, on the other hand, is a polymer material closely related to plastic, and although composite can be more esthetic, it often will not last as long.
How Long Does Each Type of Filling Last?
Patients who choose amalgam fillings can expect them to last for many years. Some studies suggest that metal fillings can remain securely in place for as long as 22 years, although individual results will vary. Composite resin fillings usually last between 10 to 15 years before they will need to be replaced with a new restoration. However, the patient plays an important role in the longevity of filings. Take care of them and you will be better off.
How to Care for Your New Fillings
One way to increase the lifespan of your dental fillings is by developing good dental habits. Avoid chewing ice or hard foods, and never use your teeth as tools to open bottles or pry things. Keep up regular brushing and flossing habits to avoid additional decay, and be sure to schedule regular dental check-ups to stay on top of your dental health.
If you are in need of a filling or are considering having your amalgam fillings replaced with composite resin fillings, call Trailhead Dental today to schedule an appointment. After your comprehensive dental exam, we can discuss all available options, and help you decide on the right solution for your particular set of needs.