Dentist in Portland, OR
Dental fillings are a common way of repairing holes and other damage done to your teeth. Without a filling, the tooth is likely to further break, plus it is possible the root will eventually be exposed. When that occurs, eating, drinking, and even breathing can cause pain. The experts at Pacific Woods Dental fill teeth on a regular basis, and the entire process is fairly quick and easy.
What Are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a type of material that is inserted into a cavity to fill in the hole in the tooth. Fillings may also be used to repair teeth that have cracked or have worn down. There are a number of different types of materials that may be used in a filling. These include silver, gold alloys, porcelain, and a composite resin that very closely resembles the color of your natural teeth.
Why Are Dental Fillings Important?
Dental fillings are important because they protect your teeth from being further damaged. If we did not fill in the cavity, it would likely continue to expand. Eventually, the entire tooth would be eaten away by bacteria. Cavities also change your bite and can make it very difficult to chew food in the part of your mouth around the cavity. If the root becomes exposed, you will even be in pain. Unfilled cavities may also create an opening for bacteria to get into your gums and, eventually, your bloodstream. This can lead to a number of infections, some of which can be life-threatening.
How Are Dental Fillings Done?
When you come in for a filling, we start by numbing the area. Then we use one of several tools to thoroughly clean out the cavity. We will remove all of the plaque, tartar, and bacteria as well as the decayed part of the tooth. After we are sure all of the decayed parts of the tooth have been removed, we prepare the area for the filling. If the cavity has reached the root, we will install a liner to protect it.
Next, we place the filling material and shape it as needed. Once it has set, we will polish it. Depending on the type of filling material, we may need to run a special light over the filling to cure it.
Who Needs Dental Fillings?
If you have a cavity, you need a filling. Leaving these openings in your teeth will only lead to further decay and may eventually cause you to lose the tooth. While fillings are quite durable and should last for years, it is also possible for a filling to come out. This can happen for a number of reasons, including injury or biting into something hard. If you lose a filling, you do need to come in for a replacement. The process for installing a replacement filling is the same as getting a new filling, though we generally do not have to remove much, if any, decay.
When Should You See Us About a Dental Filling?
Typically, we will recommend you book an appointment for a filling if we discover a cavity during your regular six-month dental cleaning. If you lose a filling, you need to come in right away. Contact Pacific Woods Dental at 503-292-5483 if you have lost a filling or if you believe you have cavities that need to be filled.