Dental Fillings in Hickory, NC
When Do You Need a Tooth Filling?
Dental fillings restore a tooth to its original form and function. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Only your dentist can determine whether or not you have a cavity that will ultimately require a filling. During your routine checkup, Dr. Robinette will use a small mirror and other specialized instruments to examine the surface of your teeth and check for abnormalities.
If you are experiencing the following, you may need a filling:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Pain in your tooth or when you bite down
- A hole or dark spot on your tooth
- Food getting stuck on or between certain teeth
- Rough feeling teeth
- Cracked or broken existing fillings
- Chipped or fractured teeth
Common Direct and Indirect Dental Fillings
Dental restorations (fillings) may be fabricated out of a variety of materials. Common direct restorative materials include dental amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite resins. Common indirect restorative materials include acrylic, porcelain, zircon, gold and other metals.
Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. Composites can also be "bonded" or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth. Composite fillings are considered superior to dental amalgam fillings and are more esthetic.
Indirect restorations like dental crowns may be needed if more strength is desired in any situation. Indirect fillings are specifically designed for teeth that have suffered extensive damage.
What to Expect After the Filling Procedure
Having your tooth filled is an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia which will cause numbness for a few hours after you have left the office. Discomfort afterward is usually mild and temporary. You might experience some sensitivity to hot and cold liquids or food that can last for a couple of weeks. If pain persists, you might need your filling adjusted. Continue to brush and floss after your procedure as you would normally.
When Should You Replace a Cavity Filling?
Fillings are made to last many years before they need replacing. Unfortunately, after years of chewing, clenching or grinding, fillings may need to be replaced sooner. If you notice warning signs such as cracks or worn areas on your filling, your dentist will likely need to replace your filling as soon as possible.
Scheduling an Appointment for Dental Fillings
Regular dental check-ups are imperative for avoiding tooth decay and preventing cavities. Call our office at 828-267-0651 to schedule your appointment today!