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Dental Fillings - Corpus Christi Dentistry

Updated: Oct 31, 2019




As a professional Corpus Christi Dentist office, Gonzalez Family Dentistry can diagnose and treat dental fillings as necessary. If you believe you are having and gum or teeth issues please reach out to us and set up an appointment to get treated right away. The sooner you get it diagnosed and treated, the better chances you have of avoiding long term damage to your gums and teeth.


Gonzalez Family Dentistry is also a Corpus Christi Dentist who can treat dental patients for a variety of other preventative and corrective dental issues such as routine exams and cleaning, impacted teeth, braces and invisalign advice and steps to take, fillings, veeners, extractions and dentures. Please fill out our form on the bottom of the page here.


In cases where an individual has a tooth with some of its portions too damaged to function, but the rest of the tooth is still functional, the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill it with a special type of material.

Therefore, a dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape by removing the affected portion, clean the area, and then fill the cavity with a filling material like gold, porcelain, a composite resin, or an amalgam. This way, the tooth remains closed and functional (1).

Dental fillings


In cases where an individual has a tooth with some of its portions too damaged to function, but the rest of the tooth is still functional, the dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill it with a special type of material.

Therefore, a dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape by removing the affected portion, clean the area, and then fill the cavity with a filling material like gold, porcelain, a composite resin, or an amalgam. This way, the tooth remains closed and functional (1).


What are the steps to filling a tooth?


First, the dentist has to numb the area surrounding the affected tooth with a local anesthetic. Once this is done, the health professional will proceed to remove the decayed dental portion by using a drill, an air abrasion instrument or a laser.

The choice of the instrument used will depend on the patient´s comfort level, the location and extent of the damaged tooth, the experience of the dentist, and the investment in the specific piece of equipment.

After removing the decay, the dentist will check for other damaged portions for then preparing the cavity for its filling. The health professional will clean the cavity of pathogens and debris to avoid future infections or complications. If the damaged portion is found near the root, the dentist will insert a material to protect the nerve.

Then, the filling material is placed inside the cavity until all is complete. The dentist will finish the job, removing the excess material, shaping the material to the desired result, and polishing the final restoration (2).


What types of materials are used for fillings?


Nowadays, several materials can be used to fill in dental cavities. The type of material used depends on different factors, such as location and extent of the damage, the dentist´s recommendations, the aesthetic preferences, the cost of the filling material, the patient´s insurance coverage, among others. Considerations for different materials include:


· Gold fillings. These are made to order in a lab and then cemented into the dental cavity. Gold compositions are considered the best filling materials because these are well tolerated by gum tissues, does not corrode, provide a strength that can resist chewing forces, and can last for more than 20 years. The bad thing is that this is usually the most expensive option, requiring multiple visits to the dentist to place it, and that it can produce a sharp pain when placed next to another metallic filling. As per its aesthetics, some patients find it more pleasing to the eye than other materials, while others do not find it pleasing at all.


· Amalgam (silver) fillings. These are usually very resistant, being capable of withstanding chewing forces. In addition, these are relatively inexpensive and last at least 15 years. However, the dark color that results from their placement is more noticeable than other compositions, giving an unpleasant look, especially when used in very visible areas like the front teeth. These fillings are often the cause of the destruction of more tooth structure to make a space large enough for it and can be object of multiple cracks and fractures due to its capacity to expand and contract in the presence of temperature changes.


· Composite (plastic) resins. Sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins, these are the result of a combination of glass or quartz filler, which are capable of being fabricated to match the color of the patient´s teeth when a natural appearance is desired. These are ideal for small-to-mid-size restorations in locations of the mouth where moderate chewing is performed. These may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time, having a duration of less than 10 years. These can also become stained from coffee, tea or smoking.


· Porcelain fillings. These are produced to order in a laboratory and then placed to the tooth, covering a big portion of it. These have a natural look because they are fabricated to match the color of the tooth. In addition, these are able to resist staining over time, generally lasting more than 15 years. Regarding its cost, it is similar to gold fillings (1, 2, 3).


Which can be the problems with dental fillings?


It is important to know about the potential problems that can result from the use of dental fillings in order to see the dentist promptly and have the cavity fillings repaired as soon as possible. These complications can include:


· Tooth pain and sensitivity.

· Infections.

· Filling allergies.

· Damaged fillings.


How should a tooth with fillings be taken care of?


To maintain the dental fillings in optimal state, the patients should follow certain recommendations, which include:


· Following a good oral hygiene.

· Regularly visiting the dentist for cleanings.

· Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.

· Flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day (2).

You can set up an initial appointment or find out more information if you are having issues or if you and your family would like to have a new family dentist. Our contact information can be found here. We cannot wait to hear from you. Have a great day.


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