Restoring Your Teeth’s Health and Appearance
Patients struggling with cavities or tooth decay often face challenges in feeling confident about their smiles. Dental fillings offer an effective solution to fill cavities and safeguard teeth from further damage.
At Fredric Gaeta, DDS, we provide two types of dental fillings that can restore your smile. Read on to discover more about our fillings and the benefits they bring. Discover why Dr. Fred Gaeta is one of the best dentists in Kailua-Kona, HI, for restorative dentistry.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings also referred to as tooth-colored fillings, play a vital role in cavity protection while restoring the biting surface of your teeth. Additionally, they enhance the appearance and functionality of your teeth, resulting in a healthier smile.
Types of Dental Fillings
Various materials are available for dental fillings, with the most popular options being silver (amalgam) and composite resin. During your initial consultation at our clinic, Dr. Gaeta will assist you in selecting the most suitable filling material for your specific needs.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings offer several benefits and are commonly used to fix various dental issues. Here are some of the benefits of dental fillings:
- Restoring Tooth Structure: Dental fillings are primarily used to restore the structure and functionality of teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay or trauma.
- Decay Prevention: By removing the decayed portion of the tooth and sealing the area with a filling, the growth of bacteria is stopped, preventing the decay from spreading deeper into the tooth.
- Pain Relief: The filling material seals off exposed nerves and prevents contact with hot, cold, or sweet substances, providing relief from discomfort.
- Cosmetic Enhancement: Tooth-colored fillings, such as composite resin or porcelain, can be used to match the natural color of the tooth, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Durability: Modern dental filling materials are designed to last for several years with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care.
What Can Dental Fillings Fix?
Dental fillings can fix a variety of dental issues, including:
- Cavities: Dental fillings are commonly used to treat tooth decay or cavities. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed, and the resulting space is filled with a suitable material to restore the tooth’s structure and function.
- Tooth Fractures: Dental fillings can repair minor to moderate tooth fractures or cracks. The filling material bonds to the tooth, reinforcing its structure and preventing further damage.
- Worn Teeth: Teeth that have been worn down due to grinding or other factors can be restored with dental fillings. The filling material replaces the lost tooth structure and protects the remaining tooth from further wear.
- Chipped Teeth: If a tooth has a small chip or break, a dental filling can be used to restore its shape and function. The filling material is applied to the damaged area, providing an aesthetic and functional repair.
The Dental Filling Process
Examination and Diagnosis
During this initial step, your dentist will examine the affected tooth and surrounding areas to assess the extent of the damage. X-rays may be taken to get a more detailed view of the tooth’s condition. Dr. Gaeta will diagnose the presence of tooth decay or any other issues that require a dental filling.
Tooth Preparation and Filling Placement
Dr. Gaeta will numb the tooth using a local anesthetic to ensure a comfortable procedure. He then removes the damaged or decayed tissue to make room for the filling.
After preparing the tooth, Dr. Gaeta places the filling into the prepared cavity. The type of filling material used can vary, such as composite resin, amalgam, or porcelain. Your Kailua-Kona dentist carefully shapes and molds the filling material to match the natural contours of the tooth.
Bonding and Curing
A bonding process is necessary to ensure the filling material adheres securely to the tooth structure. Dr. Gaeta may apply an adhesive or bonding agent to the prepared tooth surface before placing the filling material. Dr. Gaeta may use a curing light to harden and bond the filling material to the tooth.
Bite Adjustment and Polishing
After the filling material has hardened and bonded to the tooth, Dr. Gaeta will check your bite to ensure proper alignment and occlusion. He’ll make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and balanced bite. Finally, Dr. Gaeta will polish the material to provide a smooth surface and a natural appearance that blends with the surrounding teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
The lifespan of dental fillings can vary depending on several factors. Amalgam (metal) fillings can last up to 10 to 15 years or more, while tooth-colored fillings (such as composite resin or porcelain) have a lifespan of around five to 10 years. Fillings can last longer with proper care, regular dental check-ups, and good oral hygiene.
No, getting a dental filling isn’t painful. After the procedure, it’s common to experience some sensitivity to hot or cold substances for a few days, but this should subside gradually. If you experience severe or prolonged pain after a dental filling, contact your dentist for further instructions.
The cost of dental fillings can vary depending on factors such as the size of the filling, the location of the tooth, the type of filling material used, and the geographical location of the dental practice. Tooth-colored fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings due to the materials and techniques involved. Consult your dentist and inquire about the specific cost based on your case and the type of filling material recommended.
After getting a dental filling, it is generally safe to eat once the numbness from the anesthesia wears off. It’s best to wait until the filling has fully hardened or cured before consuming food or beverages. Your dentist will provide specific instructions based on the type of filling material used.
Reclaim Your Healthy, Functional Smile with Fillings
By filling in the gaps left by cavities, dental fillings not only enhance the appearance of your teeth but also strengthen their structure, preventing further damage and decay. If you have concerns about cavities, tooth decay, or any other dental issues, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaeta.
Our Kailua-Kona office is ready to provide you with personalized and professional dental care. You can reach us at (808) 329-3314 or fill out our online form to request an appointment. Our friendly team looks forward to helping you restore and protect your smile. We welcome patients from Kalaoa, Holualoa, and Kahaluu-Keauhou, HI.