Fillings are among the most common dental procedures in America. As a way to treat tooth decay, just about everyone has at least one filling. In fact, a study conducted by the NIH showed that the average American adult has seven of them.
Even if you have a filling, you may be unfamiliar about the dental procedure itself. Redmond Art of Dentistry can answer your frequently asked questions.
What Are Fillings?
With cases of advanced tooth decay, cavities are formed. Left untreated, these cavities can damage your nerve pulp and enamel, which can quickly lead to the loss of the affected tooth.
To treat tooth decay, a filling is used. In this simple dental procedure, your dentist will remove damaged or decayed material, clean the area affected by decay, and fill it with a durable material that permanently bonds to your tooth. This both removes decay and prevents further damage.
What Causes Fillings to Fail?
When they’re properly cared for, some fillings can easily last a lifetime, but it is possible for a filling to fail. Common causes of filling failure include:
- Eating “gummy” foods (licorice, gumdrops, gummy worms, etc.)
- Tooth clenching
- Teeth grinding
- Normal chewing/drinking
- A previously “under-filled” filling.
It’s important to note that filling failure isn’t indicative of the filling “falling out.” Instead, it may simply loosen, which allows for tooth decay and eventually, a severely damaged tooth.
How Do I Know If My Fillings Are in Good Shape?
You can only be certain your fillings are intact and functioning correctly through regular dental exams every six months. Fluoride treatments can also be used to strengthen the enamel around fillings.
During your routine examinations at Redmond Art of Dentistry, Dr. Daniel Bickel will examine your fillings for signs of decay, ensuring that failed fillings are taken care of before permanent damage occurs.
Without regular checkups, your fillings may fail without you realizing it. If you find yourself in this situation contact Dr. Bickel immediately. If he can’t fix your teeth with fillings, he can recommend and perform other dental procedures, like root canal therapy, tooth extractions, or dental crowns.
What Materials Are Used for Modern Fillings?
Today, two primary materials are used for modern fillings.
Amalgam fillings are composed of liquid mercury and a metal alloy mixture. These “silver fillings” have been used since the 1800s. Mercury fillings made of amalgam are durable and relatively inexpensive.
Composite fillings are comprised of a plastic and gas mixture that’s created to mimic the appearance of your natural teeth. This provides patients with a more natural look, but still offers a strong, secure filling.
While both filling materials are effective at preventing tooth decay, at Redmond Art of Dentistry, we know our patients prefer the natural appearance of composite fillings.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Daniel Bickel at Redmond Art of Dentistry Today!
Do you need a filling? Concerned that your old fillings may be loose or missing? Come to Dr. Daniel Bickel in Redmond today! At our technologically advanced practice, we can easily help you replace damaged fillings and examine you for further tooth decay.
We use the latest cavity treatment techniques and specialize in providing natural, effective composite fillings to our patients. Our tooth-colored fillings help restore the natural appearance of your mouth.
Call Redmond Art of Dentistry today at (425) 883-1331, request an appointment online, or visit our offices at 16455 NE 85th St #101, Redmond, WA, 98052!