When it comes to dental fillings, there are a lot of different things that folks think about fillings that may or may not be true. Fillings are a big part of modern dentistry and thanks to changing technology, they are now more reliable and better to look at than ever before. When people think about fillings, they often picture people smiling and the different amounts of metallic elements in their mouth. Thankfully, there are plenty of different options and even the placement of fillings has come a long way over the years. There are plenty of reasons that folks get fillings but understanding what fillings are helps patients navigate the process.
The reason why folks need fillings is because they have dental cavities and these cavities lead to pits in the tooth or cracks. The filling is designed to reinforce the structure of the tooth. The reason why cavities form is because the tooth is being assaulted by bacteria and plaque. This essentially is slow-release acid on the tooth. When dental hygiene is not done properly, this leaves the problematic bacteria on the tooth and that allows the cavities to form. The dentist will take x-rays and do a physical exam. If the dentist notices a cavity, then depending on the size of the cavity a filling will be recommended.
The filling is performed with the dentist using either an amalgam or a resin and shaping the filling within the cavity. The goal is making sure that the filling is properly bonded to the tooth and will withstand the action that the tooth performs – such as chewing. The life of a filling is getting longer as the technology improves. Obviously, fillings from the 1970’s are more likely to fail today than fillings done just a few years ago. The good news is your fillings are reliable today and your dentist will do everything to make sure that the fillings put in your mouth will stand the test of time and keep your teeth looking and feeling great.