Fillings and Sealants
Tooth decay and cavities are both common dental issues. Receiving tooth-colored fillings can restore your teeth and help to prevent simple decay from becoming something worse.
Tooth Fillings in Port Washington, WI
Cavities and small fractures can cause much larger issues if left untreated. In the past, metal restorations called amalgam fillings (or silver fillings) served a need but left many teeth discolored and strained from the wedging effect of the metal. Today, tooth-colored composite resins blend into the tooth structure and are chemically bonded to the tooth providing a strong, permanent restoration.
Composites serve both functional and aesthetic roles, often at the same time. For example, a cavity invading the front of a tooth along the gum line may be visible in your smile line. By gently cleaning out the soft, discolored area and replacing it with a tooth-colored filling, the tooth is restored and looks better than ever.
Composites contain a mix of liquid resin embedded with finely ground glass particles. After being molded to the prepared tooth structure, a blue light applied directly to the composite hardens the filling material within seconds. Once it’s shaped and polished to a high shine, the restoration is complete.
We invite you to learn more about tooth fillings and sealants by visiting our office or giving us a call at 262-284-9011.
How do dental fillings for cavities work?
Cavity and tooth fillings are required when decay leaves holes in teeth. Left unchecked, the decay will continue to spread and damage the tooth’s hard material and eventually the inner pulp and root system. During the filling procedure, dentists clean away decay inside the cavity with a drill. However, because this doesn’t fix the damage that is already there a filling is necessary. The intent of the filling is to replace the part of the tooth that was destroyed by tooth decay. Your dentist will mold the filling to fit the shape of the existing tooth to restore its structural integrity and protect the softer enamel exposed by decay.
What types of fillings are there?
There are several types of materials used for teeth fillings including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam (an alloy consisting of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper), tooth-colored plastic, composite resin and glass ionomer. The material used depends on your dentist, the extent and location of your tooth decay and your insurance coverage.
Is tooth sensitivity after a filling normal?
When you get a filling, the area around the infected tooth is numbed. You shouldn’t feel anything for an hour or two after your appointment but once the numbing wears off it’s normal to feel pain in your teeth and gums.
It’s common to experience pain when drinking or eating anything hot or cold. It is also not uncommon to feel pain or greater than usual sensitivity when you brush or floss near the infected tooth.
Minimize Tooth Sensitivity
You can reduce the sensitivity in your teeth and gums by:
- Taking an anti-inflammatory drug that contains ibupofren
- Rinse your mouth with 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of salt mixed with warm water. This can reduce inflamation
- Temporarily avoiding hot, cold, or acidic foods and drinks.
- Brush and floss gently
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive
If you have more questions about fillings and sealants, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.