Dental fillings are a common procedure that dentists administer to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay, fractures, or wear. As a restorative dentistry treatment, dentists use fillings to prevent further decay and restore the function and appearance of your smile for years to come. If you’re looking for high-quality dental fillings in Dallas, TX, look no further than Lakewood Dental Group.
With Dr. Mihir Patel and Dr. Shaun Sigurdson, you can strengthen, upgrade, or protect your smile with solutions that match your needs and budget. Get started with our team today by calling our dental office in Dallas, TX, at (214) 827-1885.
Tooth fillings are a great way to protect and preserve your natural teeth. In this blog, we discuss what dental fillings are, the different types of fillings, the treatment process, how to care for fillings, the cost of fillings, and how long they last.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings in Dallas, TX, are biocompatible materials that trained dental professionals use to fill cavities or fractures caused by tooth decay or damage. The materials that dentists use in dental fillings can vary. Nevertheless, their primary purpose is to restore the shape, function, and appearance of the compromised tooth.
Dentists can also use tooth fillings to repair teeth that have been cracked, chipped, or broken. In some cases, patients can pursue tooth-colored fillings (often called composite resin fillings) for cosmetic reasons.
For example, they may have irregularly-shaped teeth or stubborn internal dental stains that affect the appearance of their smile (not to mention their confidence). A dentist can use tooth-colored fillings to hide these imperfections or reshape the tooth.
Types of Tooth Fillings
There are several different types of tooth fillings. While all types of fillings are effective at protecting and preserving your natural teeth, some materials may be more desirable than others. The right kind of filling material will depend on several factors, including:
- The extent of the decay or damage
- The location of the tooth
- The patient’s preference.
The most common types of dental fillings in Dallas, TX, include:
Amalgam fillings are a combination or mixture of several different types of metals, including:
These metals are very strong and durable, allowing them to withstand the intense pressure of biting and chewing. Amalgam fillings are also the most affordable filling option, but their silver color makes them particularly noticeable. It is for this reason that most dentists reserve these fillings for the back teeth (known as premolars and molars).
Some research suggests that metal fillings containing elemental mercury can release harmful neurotoxins into the body. However, this study goes on to say that the majority of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings occurs predominantly during the placement or removal of the filling. This means that metal fillings at rest should pose no threat to patients.
Resin Composite Fillings
Dentists create these fillings from a tooth-colored, durable resin material. The resin is a type of dental cement made from synthetic materials, primarily plastic. This material very closely resembles the color and sheen of natural teeth, making them an excellent option for visible chompers.
While these fillings are ideal for mending small to medium-sized cavities and repairing dental damage, they are also great for cosmetic treatments. Resin composite fillings can conceal imperfections, like:
- Internal dental stains
- Craze lines
- Large gaps between the teeth
- Short or misshapen teeth
Dentists use dental-grade porcelain to administer ceramic fillings. Similar to resin composite fillings, ceramic fillings are similar in color and luster to natural teeth. However, they are more expensive than composite or amalgam fillings because they offer more long-term durability and are resistant to staining.
Gold fillings are made of a gold alloy, which means a combination of two or more metals. These fillings are the most durable of all filling materials that dentists can use today. However, they are fairly noticeable, which is why many dentists reserve these fillings for the back teeth.
Gold fillings may very well be the most durable and longest-lasting filling option available to patients. However, they are also the most expensive option.
The Treatment Process
The dental filling procedure is a relatively simple one, and it typically takes only one visit to the dentist to complete. The dentist begins by numbing the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, they remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth using a drill or laser.
Once the dentist removes the decayed or damaged areas, they then prepare the tooth for the filling material by cleaning and shaping the area. Next, they fill the cavity with the chosen filling material and cure it. Finally, they polish the tooth to restore its natural appearance before sending the patient home.
After getting dental fillings in Dallas, TX, patients should:
- Eat softer foods for a few days
- Try chewing on the opposite side of where the filling is located
- Avoid extremely sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods for approximately one week
Caring for Dallas Dental Fillings
After the dental filling procedure in Dallas, TX, it is essential to care for the filling properly to ensure that it lasts for as long as possible. Some tips for caring for fillings include:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Avoid biting down on hard foods or objects, such as ice or pens, which can damage the filling
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings to detect any issues with your fillings early on
Be mindful of any discomfort or sensitivity in the tooth with the filling. If you start experiencing sensitivity, pain, or swelling, then contact our dentists in Dallas, TX, right away.
The Cost of Dental Fillings
The cost of tooth fillings can vary widely depending on a few factors, including:
- The type of filling material used
- The size of the cavity or the extent of damage
- The location of the tooth
Generally, amalgam fillings are the most affordable option, at roughly $100 per tooth. Next, composite resin fillings come in at about $200 per treated tooth, followed closely by ceramic fillings at $300 per tooth. Of course, gold fillings are the most expensive, coming in at roughly $450 per tooth. Insurance coverage may fully or partially cover the cost of dental filling treatment.
High-Quality Dental Fillings in Dallas, TX
Dental fillings are a great way to strengthen, repair, or upgrade your smile. If you’re interested in learning more about tooth fillings in Dallas, TX, contact the team at Lakewood Dental Group today. All patients can reach us online here, or they may call us directly at (214) 827-1885.