Posted on: 17 September 2019
Dental fillings are common dental applications. The fillings, which can be made from many different materials, are used to replace missing areas of a tooth.
Here are several instances in which your dentist may apply a filing.
You Have a Cavity
To treat a cavity, your dentist removes the decayed portion of tooth material. They replace the missing natural material with a filling to restore the tooth and protect it from further damage.
The filling material that the dentist selects often depends on the severity and location of the cavity. For decay that occurs near the front of the mouth, the dentist may restore the damaged areas with a tooth-colored filling.
Tooth-colored filling materials include composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin is a mixture of glass and plastic. Porcelain fillings are made from dental ceramic material.
For areas of the mouth that are hidden from view as you speak or smile, the dentist may use a metal filling.
Your Dentist Performed a Root Canal Procedure
If one of your teeth becomes infected, dies, or has irreparably damaged nerves, your dentist may suggest root canal therapy to help salvage it. During the treatment, the dentist removes the soft material that comprises the center of the tooth. This material, which is called the pulp, houses the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth.
Once a tooth becomes infected or otherwise damaged, the nerves of the tooth may become inflamed, and in some cases, the pulp may actually die. After the pulp dies, it does not regenerate. Instead, it must be removed if the tooth is to remain in place.
After the pulp's removal, the dentist cleans the tooth's interior and fills it. The applied filling is then covered by a dental crown.
You Break or Chip a Tooth
A filling may also be used to fill in areas of broken or chipped tooth material. A chip in a tooth may make the tooth more susceptible for further damage if the tooth remains unfortified. The filling fortifies and balances the tooth structure to help protect it.
Often, after a chip, break, or dental crack, the dentist fills the area with composite resin, since it can be molded to the damaged tooth and cured into place. Additionally, unlike gold or silver amalgam fillings, the composite resin is white like the tooth material.
If you believe that you may need to have a filling applied, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.
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