A dental filling is used to restore and protect a tooth that has a cavity from tooth decay. Signs of needing a dental filling may include tooth sensitivity, discoloration, pitting, or holes in the tooth. Left untreated, a cavity can lead to much discomfort. It may even become infected, causing a toothache and requiring a root canal. A dental filling offers early intervention to preserve your natural tooth and keep your mouth healthy. If you believe you may need a dental filling in the Washington, DC area, call our team to schedule your appointment today!
What Is A Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a procedure that’s used to fill a hole in your tooth, also known as a cavity. Cavities are caused by tooth decay. As oral bacteria consume sugar and excrete acid, this weakens the tooth, causing it to decay. Over time, prolonged decay will destroy the outer layer of the tooth, resulting in a cavity.
A filling is used to treat this issue. The damaged enamel is removed by the dentist. Then, durable, tooth-like material is used to fill the cavity. The filling is shaped so that it fits in with the rest of your tooth. Then, it’s hardened and your bite is tested to ensure that your tooth is completely restored, and can function as it should.
Early intervention with a dental filling is the best way to restore and repair a decayed tooth. Without a filling, the cavity will only get worse, and this could result in more pain, costly dental treatments, and the need to spend extensive time at the dentist’s office.
What Types Of Dental Fillings Do You Offer?
We exclusively treat patients with dental composite fillings. They come in a variety of shades and colors to match the natural color of your tooth. Composite fillings are strong and durable, blending in naturally with your smile. They are also free of any metals including mercury, which some patients prefer.
Does It Hurt To Get A Filling?
Not at all. Our team will make sure that you feel completely safe and comfortable during your treatment. Your mouth will be fully numbed and the procedure is minimally invasive.
We also offer sedation dentistry. With nitrous sedation dentistry, you can feel relaxed throughout your appointment. And, best of all, you can get back to your busy schedule with no downtime. Nitrous oxide sedation is minimal and wears off after only about five minutes.
How Long Does A Filling Last?
Typically, composite fillings have a lifespan of between 5-8 years. Over time, the filling material may start to wear out and peel away from the tooth. The best way to keep your fillings in good shape is to maintain a good at-home oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, eat a healthy, low-sugar diet, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You also should see your dentist every six months. They will be able to check on your oral health and ensure your fillings are in good shape and recommend filling replacement when necessary.
Protecting Your Smile
Dental fillings can protect your teeth and help preserve them for years to come. If you are in need of a filling, call our office today to schedule your dental visit. Our team can examine your smile and provide you with the dental care that you need.