Do you need a tooth filling?
If you find you’re suddenly sensitive to hot or cold foods, feel a sharp pain when biting down, or are simply experiencing a dull, steady ache, it's possible you have a cavity. And the solution for dealing with a cavity; the result of tooth decay, is usually a dental filling.
When a tooth is damaged due to trauma or decay, its structure can be lost. At the Indigo Dental Practice in Jersey, our dentists will assess the condition of your teeth during your consultation, to determine the extent of the damage and the best course of action for restoration, which may include tooth fillings.
There are several materials available for tooth fillings, each with their own benefits. The choice of material will depend on the tooth's location and strength requirements. We will inform you of all options before finalising a dental plan, but most of our patients opt for tooth-coloured fillings. Sedation is available for nervous patients. We’ll make you as comfortable as possible.
What are the benefits and risks of having a tooth filling?
The benefits of having a tooth filling are enormous. Firstly, it helps to restore the function of the tooth, allowing you to chew and speak properly. Secondly, it can prevent further decay from developing by sealing off the cavity and preventing bacteria from entering. This can help to save the tooth from further damage and may even prevent the need for more extensive dental work, such as a root canal or tooth extraction. Additionally, tooth-coloured fillings can improve the appearance of your teeth by filling in gaps and evening out the surface of the tooth, giving you your beautiful smile back.
However, there are some risks too. Firstly, some people may experience discomfort after the procedure, particularly if the filling is large or deep. This can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or by using a special toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Immediately after the tooth filling procedure, your teeth may feel sensitive to cold air, sweet foods, temperature, or pressure for a few days. Secondly, fillings can wear down over time, which may require them to be replaced.
Tooth filling consultation
During the consultation, the dentist will examine your teeth and determine whether a filling is necessary. If a filling is required, the dentist will discuss the options available to you and help you choose the best option for your needs. You will have a choice of filling material.
Your tooth filling treatment
The dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be filled using a local anaesthetic. This will help to minimise any discomfort during the procedure. The dentist will then remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will clean the area to remove any debris.
After the tooth has been cleaned, the dentist will place the filling material into the tooth. The filling material can be made of a variety of materials, including amalgam, composite resin, or porcelain. The dentist will carefully shape the filling material to match the natural contours of your tooth. This is a relatively fast treatment.
Tooth filling aftercare
You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but this should subside within a few days. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, to keep your teeth healthy and prevent future decay.
Is having a dental filling painful?
Having a filling is a painfree procedure at our practice. It is performed under local anesthesia, ensuring that the area is numb and the patient is comfortable throughout the process. While it is common to experience some discomfort or sensitivity in the tooth after the filling is placed, this typically resolves within a few days as the tooth adjusts to the new filling.
How long does it take for a filling to be fitted?
Here at our Jersey dental practice, we pride ourselves on our fast filling treatment. The process of getting a filling fitted typically takes around 30 minutes. The duration of the procedure largely depends on the extent of the decay in the tooth and the type of filling being used. Before the filling is fitted, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. Then, the decayed portion of the tooth will be removed and the remaining tooth structure will be prepared for the filling.
How should I prepare for my filling appointment?
First, be sure to brush and floss thoroughly before your appointment to ensure that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy. When you arrive, be sure to let your Jersey dentist know if you have any concerns about the procedure, or if you are experiencing any discomfort or sensitivity in your teeth.
What should I not do after getting a filling?
Avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold for at least a few hours after the procedure. This can cause sensitivity and even pain. Additionally, avoid eating hard or sticky foods that can put pressure on the filling and cause it to crack or break. It is also important to avoid using your teeth as tools, such as biting on pens, or opening packages with your teeth. This can cause damage to the filling, or even your natural teeth.
How do I know if I need a filling?
Regular dental checkups are essential to maintain good oral health. During these appointments, a dentist can detect any dental problems, including cavities that require fillings. However, if you experience tooth sensitivity or pain when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks, there is a chance that you may have a cavity that needs to be filled. Other signs of a cavity include visible holes or pits on your teeth, toothache, and bad breath. It is important to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms. Neglecting to treat a cavity can lead to further dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
How long do fillings last?
The longevity of dental fillings depends on a variety of factors, including the type of filling used, the location of the filling, and the amount of wear and tear on the tooth. On average, dental fillings can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, some fillings can last up to 20 years or more.
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