It’s almost certain, everyone will have to deal with the most basic of dental maladies—cavities. Cavities are holes, small and large, that are found in the tooth when tooth decay occurs.
No matter your age, cavities can develop and even spread to adjacent teeth. Addressing and resolving cavity issues by getting a tooth filling early on will help to improve overall oral health and decrease the cost associated with pain and tooth loss in the future.
Your dentist can add the filling to your affected tooth/teeth after removing the decayed tooth material and cleaning the area. Once the area is cleaned, it is ready for the filling material to be inserted into the area where the hole exists. This procedure is effective because it helps to prevent further decay of the tooth.
Which Filling Material is Right for You?
Tooth fillings are made up of varies materials and which material is best for you is determined by the extent of the repair, your allergies, the location of the application and cost. Fillings can be:
- Silver (Amalgam) – These types of fillings are most commonly used in areas at the back of the mouth and are relatively inexpensive.
- Porcelain – Sometimes referred to as inlays or onlays, these fillings are made to order and then bonded to the teeth. Commonly used at the front of the mouth, they can also so be made to match the color of the natural teeth. Porcelain fillings are also stain-resistant.
- Plastic (Composite Resins) – This option can also be matched to the same color as naturally existing teeth. A plastic filling is used to address small areas of tooth decay and last from 3 to 10 years.
Recovery After a Tooth Filling
Although recovery after a tooth filling is minimal, your doctor will advise you on things you should be aware of. Your teeth/tooth may be sensitive to sweet foods, hot foods or cold foods. If you experience pain that is intense, contact your doctor to have the issue addressed immediately.
The filling could take up to 24 hours to set and settle so avoid eating solid foods during this time period. You should wait at least 1 to 2 hours to eat anything after application. See image below for more information.