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Dental Fillings

Fillings help restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function, and can prevent further decay. Your dentist will consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you. These factors include the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost

Everything You Need To Know About Dental Fillings

In the United States, 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had dental caries, also known as cavities, in their permanent teeth. Out of this population, 26% of them have untreated tooth decay. 

Because tooth decay can impact so many other aspects of your health, you must get them treated as soon as possible.

Do you want to learn more about dental fillings and how to treat cavities? Keep reading this article for everything you need to know about dental fillings. 

What is a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings are materials that are used to repair your teeth, especially when you have a cavity or dental decay. They are made out of different materials, including alloys, resins and more. 

While they are most often used to fill areas of your tooth that had decay, they can also be used to fix cracked or broken teeth. 

Dental Filling Options

There are many different types of dental fillings. Each of these will differ in durability, price, and availability based on your own personal oral hygiene. The most common type of dental filling is a resin (tooth-colored) material. The advantage of this option is they are nearly invisible when they are placed on your teeth. 


Another material that is not used as often are dental amalgam fillings. These metal fillings are made from a mixture of different metals and have a silver appearance. While this option may be less expensive and more durable, they can affect the appearance of your smile. 

Finally, you can choose gold fillings, which can last for more than 20 years.

Dental Filling Procedure

The dental filling procedure is more in-depth than one might think. Not only does your dentist have to fill the hole in your tooth, but they need to remove all of the decay.

Here are the customary steps that are involved during a tooth filling procedure:

Numb the Area

First, your dentist will use a dental handpiece to remove the decay from your tooth. Doing this without numbing can be quite painful. Your dentist will either use a topical anesthetic and/or an injection near the area to numb your mouth. After the appropriate amount of time your dentist will begin the filling process. 

Remove Decay

Next, your dentist will remove the decay from your tooth. If you don't remove this, the decay can spread to other areas of your tooth. Typically, your dentist will use a dental handpiece or laser to remove the decay and damaged areas of your tooth. 

Applying the Filling Material

Your dentist will use some type of adhesive and composite material to fill your tooth. 

This will protect it from future decay and will seal it to prevent anything from getting into the space. In some cases, your dentist will use a curing light to harden the material.

Smooth Out the Edges

Finally, your dentist will smooth out the edges of your dental filling. This will ensure that it feels as natural as possible and will not affect your ability to properly chew or feel discomfort. 

This will be performed using a tape-type of material if needed. If your tooth requires further adjusting your dentist will do this and finish by polishing your tooth. 

Signs You Need a Dental Filling

There are many reasons why you may need to get a dental filling. Some of the common signs that you have a cavity that needs to be filled include tooth sensitivities, visible black spots on your tooth, or even a general toothache. 

However, there are other reasons why you would need fillings for your teeth. For example, if you break or chip your tooth, this composite material can be used to fix it. 

You may also need to replace older fillings as they wear out. By visiting your dentist regularly, you will know when you need to get new fillings or when you need to get old dental fillings replaced. 

Importance of Dental Fillings

While most people in the United States have some type of tooth decay, many of these cavities go untreated. Because of this, it is essential to learn more about the importance of getting dental fillings. 

First, you must get dental fillings to prevent your tooth decay from spreading. If you have unhealthy teeth with tooth decay, this can spread to the surrounding teeth. 

This means that the problem will only continue to worsen until you get your fillings done. This can progress without any discomfort or sensitivity to you. 

Next, getting fillings can prevent unnecessary damage to your decaying tooth. If you do not fix your cavity, the problem can worsen and may require more extensive treatment, like a root canal or even a tooth extraction. 

Plus, leaving the damaged tooth in your mouth can cause more bacteria to grow and can lead to more infections. 

How Long Do Fillings Last?

It depends on the type of material, size of the filling, and your own personal dietary and oral hygiene habits. If properly cared for, fillings can last for 10-20 years.

How Much Do Fillings Cost?

The cost of your fillings will depend on several factors. First, it depends on the material you use. Typically, silver amalgam fillings are the least expensive, followed by composite resin fillings and then porcelain fillings. 

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

It's hard to place a number on dental crown procedures because every patient's situation is unique. A typical price range is between $1,000-$3,500. However, don't let the initial cost scare you away from getting dental crown procedures. If a person doesn't have insurance, there are third-party financing options and even migrant dentists who offer sliding scale costs for low-income dental patients. 

Dental crowns protect teeth and provide much-needed pain relief for people suffering from tooth decay and other oral health conditions. Contact a Brownsville dentist to learn more about dental crowns and schedule an exam consultation. 

Need Dental Fillings? Learn More Today

Cavities are serious problems because it means you have an infection.  So it is essential to get them treated as soon as possible. By learning more about getting dental fillings, you will be armed with information to make an informed decision along with your dentist to choose the best option for you.

Are you looking for a dentist to help with filling cavities? Villareal Dental can help! Our office provides everything from dental fillings to routine exams and more. 

Contact us today to learn more about getting a dental filling and our other services. 

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