Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Having a cavity is a serious dental health issue. Unfortunately, many people choose to avoid a visit to the dentist until a cavity begins to hurt. The problem is that cavities may not be painful, but they are still a very serious issue. Cavities are caused by bacteria that can eventually get into the tooth root and gums, leading to more extensive dental work being needed. If you know or suspect you have a cavity, it’s important that you don’t wait. Call Roger L. Gillespie, DDS at 310-325-4155 and schedule an appointment to have a dental filling put into place right away.

What is a dental filling?

Dental fillings are the most commonly known and performed dental procedures. You most likely already have a dental filling yourself, or know someone who has one. When a tooth becomes decayed, a small hole known as a cavity can form. The dental filling is used to replace the decayed area of the tooth. They may also be used to repair a tooth that is cracked, broken, or worn down as well. While traditional dental fillings were made from dental amalgam, today’s filling can be made from a number of materials, including porcelain composite that is more naturally tooth-colored. This makes the filling virtually unnoticeable once it is in place, and avoids the use of any mercury or other metals.

What is involved in getting a dental filling?

When placing a filling, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb your tooth and the area around it to ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. He will then remove any decayed tooth matter from the area, and rise the tooth carefully. The filling will be prepared and then put into place. Afterward, your dentist will polish the filling to remove any sharp edges or extra material, and to ensure a natural shape and feel. Placing a dental filling generally only takes one short office visit, though multiple fillings may require additional visits. If a second visit is required for multiple fillings, a temporary filling will be put into place to prevent any further decay or damage from taking place.

Do dental fillings need special care?

Once in place, your dental fillings will not need any special care beyond normal oral hygiene practices. You will need to keep your regular bi-annual visits with your dentist so the filling can be checked periodically to ensure that it isn’t becoming loose. In time your dental filling may need to be adjusted or replaced, however, it is typically many years before this becomes necessary if regular care procedures are followed.

Temporary fillings may require a slight change in your ordinary dental routine. Your dentist may request that you brush a bit more carefully, and avoid flossing for a few days. You may also need to avoid eating foods that are overly crunchy or sticky such as popcorn and caramel. These restrictions will be lifted once your permanent filling is put into place.