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Everything About Tooth Fillings

What is a Tooth Filling?

A tooth filling is a dental care procedure used to repair damaged or decayed teeth. It can fix and prevent further damage due to tooth decay. This dental work can also restore functions. It is one of the most common repair jobs undertaken by dentists for preventative and restorative purposes. Fillings can tackle tooth cavities, restore your tooth’s original shape, and reduce the risk of further decay.

Here are frequently asked questions about tooth fillings for your consideration:

How does a tooth filling work?

Dr. Arora will first evaluate which tooth needs a filling either visually or with the help of an x-ray. Once we know which tooth is causing the pain or needs the filling, we will get you setup with Netflix and Noise-Canceling Headphones so that you can relax while we take care of your tooth. Before we start any treatment, the area that needs the filling will be frozen so that you don't feel any pain or sensitivity during the procedure. We use topical gel on the gums to help minimize discomfort during freezing. After we have completely frozen (numbed) the tooth, Dr. Arora will use various dental instruments to remove all decay and clean the cavity in the tooth. Then, he’ll fill the space with porcelain or other composite materials. Dr. Arora can also insert dental inlay into the centre of the damaged tooth or use dental onlay to cover up to the biting surface. This straightforward repair job removes the bacteria causing the decay and seals off the cavity. The perfect tooth filling prevents the accumulation of food debris and eliminates the risk of decay, tooth pain, and damage in the future.

What are the different types of fillings?

Dental fillings used different types of materials. Here are the four most common types of fillings:

Composite fillings. This type of dental filling mix resin and glass or quartz particles to create white tooth-colour fillings.

Glass ionomer fillings. Dental fillings under this category are made of acrylic and fluoride-rich glass. High fluoride content can help prevent cavities.​

Metal/Gold fillings. This type of filling combines gold and other metals like copper. It is silver or yellowish to golden colour, so it doesn't blend with natural teeth.

Porcelain fillings. These natural-looking cavity fillings are colour-matched in the lab to mimic your tooth’s colour.

How long do dental fillings last?

The lifespan of dental fillings varies depending on the type of filling material. Composite resin and amalgam fillings and glass ionomer fillings can last for around five to ten years. Ceramic and porcelain fillings can last more than 15 years. The longer the lifespan, the higher the cost.

How much should a filling cost?

Tooth filling cost across Canada varies from one type of filling to the other. Composite resin fillings range from $200 to $500 per tooth. As the complexity of the procedure increases the final cost can be higher. For instance, if you have a very large cavity, you may need a root canal before your cavity filling. The root canal has a separate cost associated with the procedure as it requires more materials and time to clean out the roots of the teeth. Also, when you come in the first time for evaluating which teeth need filling, there may be a cost for the examination and x-rays as it requires time to take all the images, setup the rooms and also to diagnose cavities from the image and come up with a treatment plan. Overall, the number of damaged teeth and the extent of damage influence dental filling costs. If you have dental insurance coverage, you can get 50% to 80% of the cost covered by the insurance provider. At Arora Dental, we bill directly to insurance which can be helpful to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

Do all cavities need filling?

Dentists use fillings to prevent decay, which occurs inside the tooth. So, small cavities limited to the enamel don’t need filling. Dr. Arora can recommend different alternatives like a supplemental fluoride mouth rinse, toothpaste, or varnish to reverse the process naturally. These alternatives can boost the supply of minerals to support enamel regeneration. If cavities on your tooth progress past the enamel, you'll need filling. Once you are patient at Arora Dental, we monitor any small cavities to see how they are changing on a 6-month to yearly basis. If you develop pain or sensitivity to cold or sweet foods, this can indicate that your tooth needs a filling.

What happens if you don’t fill a cavity?

The decay can get bigger, worsen, and cause irreversible damage to your tooth. It can destroy the tooth’s enamel, impede functions, and lead to tooth pain. Tooth sensitivity and pain due to cavities can also interfere with your bite and wellbeing. So, how long does it take for a cavity to destroy a tooth? Tooth cavities can advance for a few months before tooth decay occurs. You should visit Arora Dental for examination as soon as you notice a cavity on your tooth. Early intervention can save you a lot of pain, stress, and money.

The Tooth Filling Procedure

The tooth filling procedure is straightforward and quick. Dr. Arora can complete the dental work usually within an hour.

Step 1: Consultation. At your first visit with Dr. Arora, you will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. You may also take radiographs (x-ray pictures) to spot any cavities between the teeth. Then, together you will discuss the treatment plan, different types of fillings and the best alternatives.

Step 2: Anesthetic. You’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the area before the procedure. If you don’t like injections, don’t worry. Dr. Arora will apply a numbing gel before administering a local anesthetic. So, you won’t feel the injection.

Step 3: Drilling and Decay Removal. Dr. Arora will ensure the area is completely numb before drilling through the tooth enamel. Then, they’ll use a dental drill to remove the decay.

Step 4: Scan. If you’re getting a porcelain fillings, Dr. Arora will take a digital scan of your teeth. That's right, no more goo!! Then we will send your information to our dental lab to create colour-matched fillings that mimic your natural tooth.

Step 5: Sterilize and Filling. Dr. Arora will sterilize the cleaned tooth to prevent bacterial infection and eliminate invisible decay. He will seal the hole with the selected type of filling and polish it to restore your natural bite. If the procedure requires more than one visit, Dr. Arora can use temporary filling material. Most temporary fillings wear out or fracture within a month and should be replaced with permanent fillings. Your dentist can also use temporary tooth filling as part of your root canal treatment.

Front Teeth Dental Filling

Dr. Arora may need to cure or harden the filling before polishing. But how do dentists do filling on front teeth? Cavities can occur on your front tooth, close to the gum line, in-between the teeth, or on the front side. Front tooth filling follows the same 5-step procedure. However, Dr. Arora will use composite fillings that blend with your natural tooth color. This type of filling uses white teeth-color filling materials, making it ideal for the front teeth. Your Brantford dentist can also use dental crowns or porcelain veneers to cover up extensive damage, chips, and cracks due to decay. If your decayed tooth is irreparable, you’ll need a dental implant.

Are fillings painful?

No, they are not. Tooth pain after filling is uncommon. But you can experience tooth sensitivity once the numbing has worn off. If your tooth hurts after filling, get in touch with us for a thorough examination. To cope with sensitive teeth, avoid hot foods and drinks and cold beverages. But tooth sensitivity only lasts a day or two after filling. Can you brush your teeth after filling? Yes, you can. But you should be careful not to damage the filling before it sets. To get the best result, choose the right dentist for tooth fillings.

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