A dental filling is one of the most common dental treatments performed at Thompson Advanced Dentistry and something that most patients will experience during their lifetime. Dental fillings are a key component of general dentistry and play an important role in maintaining the health and stability of your smile.
Dr. Thompson places dental fillings in our Greeley dentist office for children and adults. We often recommend using composite resin or “white” fillings for the most natural-looking results. Composite fillings can also offer long-term stability due to the strong adhesive properties and seal created around natural tooth structure.
Treating Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health concerns. Patients of all ages are susceptible to developing tooth decay if they don’t take proper care of their teeth. Tooth decay is often a result of poor oral hygiene and may lead to cavities if not treated. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable with proper care.
Tooth decay can develop when the plaque buildup on your teeth combines with the sugars and starches you consume. This process creates acid that weakens your tooth enamel. It is important to properly clean your teeth to minimize the chance of developing tooth decay.
Learning what steps to take to prevent tooth decay can help keep your smile healthy. We always suggest that patients schedule biannual dental care visits and follow a regular oral hygiene routine. During your visit, you may receive a dental cleaning, which removes plaque buildup that normal brushing and flossing cannot reach.
To minimize their chance of developing tooth decay and other complex dental problems, patients should:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Use a dental floss
- Chew sugarless gums between meals
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Visit the dentist twice a year for a routine dental checkup
If tooth decay is present during your routine dental checkup, Dr. Thompson may suggest one or more of these treatment options for tooth decay:
- Dental Fillings
- Inlay & Onlay
- Root Canal
- Tooth Extraction
Dental Fillings in Greeley, CO
The dental filling procedure is often a simple one. Most patients only use a local anesthetic. If you need a more complex or invasive filling or several fillings, we offer sedation dentistry for your comfort. Dr. Thompson will discuss your needs before the day of your treatment to reduce any anxiety you may be feeling and ensure that you feel calm and relaxed during the procedure.
The process begins with cleaning the area to be treated and administering the local anesthetic. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Thompson will carefully remove the infected or damaged tooth structure and create a clean and stable foundation for placing the filling material. He will gently sculpt the composite resin into place so that the end result looks and feels natural. The final step is to seal and polish the surface of the filled tooth.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings provide multiple benefits to patients suffering from tooth decay. They’re a vital part of taking care of cavities. After removing the decay, fillings fill the hole left, restoring the appearance of your tooth. Decay can expose dental nerves and pulp, which is extremely painful if not covered. Fillings relieve this pain.
But they provide more than just cavity treatment. Fillings restore normal biting and chewing function so that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods again. Modern dental fillings blend in with the surface of your tooth, often being completely indistinguishable. Dental fillings used to be made of metals, which were extremely noticeable. You don’t have to be self-conscious with modern dental fillings and can show off your beautiful smile.
Fillings promote good oral hygiene. They seal off the decayed area, reducing the chances of bacteria re-entering and causing another infection. No decayed remnants are left behind, so brushing and flossing are easier. There’s no sensitivity. We instruct patients to be extra diligent with oral healthcare after dental fillings. It promotes the longevity of the restoration and avoids further decay.
Do I Need a Dental Filling?
Most commonly, dental fillings treat dental cavities, also called caries. Bacteria in your mouth produce acids that form small holes in the tooth. With dental fillings for tooth decay, we remove the infected portion of the tooth structure. Dental fillings replace the portion we remove, restoring look and function to the tooth. They relieve any pain or sensitivity that you have with exposed dental pulp or nerves, and stop the progression of decay.
Tooth-colored dental fillings can treat a variety of other dental problems as well. Broken teeth occur due to trauma or accidents. Fillings protect the tooth from any further damage. In severe cases, we may turn to dental crowns or other restorations that offer more stability than a filling.
Over time, erosion and wear impact your teeth. Erosion occurs when acids wear down your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks cause this, as well as if you have any gastric complications that bring acids up from the stomach. Some individuals have natural pitting, staining or other imperfections that occur in their teeth. Dental fillings eliminate these imperfections, restoring look and function. Our fillings are tooth-colored so that they look natural and blend in with your smile.
Dental Fillings FAQs
Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.
How do I care for a dental filling?
Treat a dental filling as part of your natural tooth. Daily tooth brushing, flossing, and routine dental care will support the best result. We monitor the condition of your filling over time and alert you to any changes or signs of wear that should be addressed to maintain your smile’s health.
Is getting a dental filling procedure painful?
No. This procedure is common, painless, and done in a single visit. If you have been experiencing tooth pain before getting a dental filling, your tooth pain will go away almost immediately after the procedure.
Will a dental filling make my tooth sensitive?
Patients sometimes experience this, although this is a natural and temporary symptom of the procedure. Tooth sensitivity occurs because we have cleaned the cavity and exposed healthy tooth enamel. After filling the cavity, the enamel needs a little time to get used to the material.
Does insurance cover a dental filling treatment?
Yes. This is a very common general dental treatment. Dental insurance almost always covers it.
Schedule A Dental Appointment in Greeley
If you have concerns about the health of your teeth or have been avoiding the dentist for some time, we welcome you to schedule a visit with us at Thompson Advanced Dentistry in Greeley. We accept new patients and provide personalized dental care and hygiene advice for the individual patient’s unique needs. To schedule an appointment, please contact our office at 970.205.9614 or request a general dental exam online today.