Dental fillings are the most common restorative dental treatment. Fillings in Providence, RI, are used to fill a tooth after your dentist has removed dental decay. Dentists typically use composite filling material to fill the teeth, though some other options are also available.
Dental fillings are most often needed when a tooth develops dental decay. Decay is caused by bacteria and the acids they release when they feed off the sugars in the foods we eat. The acids damage the enamel and eventually create a hole in the tooth.
If the decay isn’t treated early, it will progress. Eventually, it can reach the tooth’s pulp chamber and infect the nerve tissue. You’ll need root canal treatment when this happens, or you could risk losing the tooth altogether.
Your Providence, RI dentist will start by numbing the tooth. Then, they’ll use a laser or high-speed handpiece to gently remove the decay. They’ll double-check that all the decay has been removed before proceeding with the filling.
Next, they’ll disinfect and condition the tooth, prime it for the filling, and place a bonding material. Your dentist will then place a composite filling material into the tooth, pack it in tightly, shape it, and cure it with a UV light. Finally, they’ll shape, adjust, and polish the filling.
Not everyone experiences symptoms when they have dental decay. Some people experience the following signs:
Composite filling material consists of a resin medium that contains glass or quartz. The material is non-toxic and BPA-free.
The tooth-colored filling material is soft like putty and comes in various shades so your Providence, RI dentist can match your natural tooth shade. Once they’ve packed the filling material into your tooth, they cure it with a UV light, which hardens the material.
Composite resin can last between five to seven years. Some patients have fillings that last a lot longer. How long a filling lasts depends upon conditions such as:
While composite resin is the most popular option, some dentists will offer other options, such as porcelain or gold fillings (dental inlays). This type of restoration lasts longer (10 years or more) and is more expensive. The procedure is more involved, too, as impressions are taken and sent to a lab to fabricate the custom inlays. In some offices, a CAD/CAM machine can fabricate the restorations, but the appointment will still take longer than the average filling appointment.
We understand it can feel scary to get a filling, but we want to assure you that we will do everything we can to make you feel safe and comfortable during your filling procedure. We even offer sedation options.
The most important thing to remember is that we want to remove dental decay as soon as possible. In the early stages, dental decay is easier to treat. Sometimes, the decay is so shallow that we don’t even need to numb the tooth to treat it.
However, if dental decay isn’t treated, it can result in pain, infection, and even tooth loss. We don’t want you to have to experience any of that. If you suspect you have dental decay, let us know right away so we can take steps to prevent pain and keep your teeth healthy.
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