How Do Fillings Work? A Guide from Associates of Dentistry in Joplin, MO

Posted on July 10, 2024 by Associates of Dentistry

At Associates of Dentistry in Joplin, MO, one of the most common procedures we perform is the filling of cavities. But have you ever wondered how fillings actually work? Let’s dive into the process to help you understand how we restore your teeth to health and function.

What Are Fillings?

Fillings are materials used to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from cavities, which are areas of tooth decay caused by bacteria. Fillings can also repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse.

The Process of Getting a Filling

  1. Diagnosis: During a dental check-up, we identify cavities through visual examination, x-rays, and other diagnostic tools. Once a cavity is detected, we plan the filling procedure.
  2. Preparation: The tooth and surrounding area are numbed with a local anesthetic to ensure a comfortable experience. Next, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed using a drill or laser.
  3. Cleaning: After the decay is removed, the cavity is thoroughly cleaned to remove bacteria and debris. This step is crucial to prevent further decay and infection.
  4. Filling the Cavity: The cleaned cavity is filled with a chosen material. Common filling materials include amalgam (silver), composite resin (tooth-colored), gold, or porcelain. Composite resin is popular for its aesthetic appeal, as it matches the color of natural teeth.
  5. Shaping and Polishing: Once the filling material is placed, it is shaped to fit the tooth’s natural contours. The dentist ensures that the bite feels right and that there are no rough edges. Finally, the filling is polished to smoothness.

Why Fillings Are Important

Fillings restore the damaged tooth to its normal function, allowing you to chew and speak properly. They also help prevent further decay by sealing off spaces where bacteria can enter. Without timely treatment, cavities can progress to more serious dental issues, such as infections or the need for root canal treatment.

Taking Care of Your Fillings

Proper dental hygiene is crucial to maintain the longevity of your fillings. Brush and floss regularly, and avoid sugary foods and drinks that can contribute to decay. Regular dental check-ups allow us to monitor the condition of your fillings and overall dental health.

Visit Us for Your Dental Needs

At Associates of Dentistry in Joplin, MO, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality dental care. If you suspect you have a cavity or need any other dental services, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to keep your smile healthy and bright!

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How Do Dental Fillings Work