A tooth filling is a substance (usually made from amalgam or resin) used in dentistry to help “fill” a small hole or cavity that has emerged on a tooth due to tooth decay. Fillings have the ability to both repair and prevent further damage to the tooth as a result.
Why Tooth Filling?
If you leave a decaying tooth untreated, it will not go away on its own. The decay will continue to break down the tooth structure; it will eventually spread further inside the tooth, into the tooth’s pulp (or nerve) tissue. This can cause severe pain and extreme discomfort. Left alone long enough, it can eventually lead to an unsalvageable tooth, resulting in tooth loss.
Benefits of Tooth Fillings
Fillings provide multiple benefits to help your dental health and care. Fillings can seal off the spaces that infecting bacteria can enter, preventing further infection or inflammation of the tooth. In addition, fillings can also:
- Recreate the functionality of an affected tooth
- Prevents damage to the tooth’s structure
- Prevents damage to the tooth’s nerve or pulp
- Prevents future tooth loss
- Makes it easier to clean your teeth
Tooth Filling Treatment
We will first numb the area of your mouth where we will be placing the dental filling. Next, we will remove any damaged tooth parts that were affected by the cavity or infection. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and removed of all infection, we will begin the process of filling the tooth with a malleable substance that is shaped, smoothed, and then polished to match your other teeth. Depending on the severity of your cavity, we may also add a dental crown or “cap” on top of the affected tooth to further strengthen it. We will then test your bite to make sure that the filling is not interfering with your ability to chew regularly and adjust it accordingly.
This entire tooth filling treatment does not take much time at all; many of our patients have been able to eat normally not long after we have performed the treatment.