It’s best to take proper care of your oral health. With that said, sometimes people miss appointments and let their oral care slip. This, in turn, can lead to cavities and other oral health issues.
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, your dentist will consider repair options. One of the most common is the placement of a tooth filling.
What Are Tooth Fillings?
Tooth fillings (dental fillings) are dental appliances made with materials that are used to repair and restore a damaged tooth. These appliances may be made with metal, glass, or plastic. Often, the filling materials are porcelain, silver amalgam, gold, or composite resin. Each of the different materials has their advantages and disadvantages.
Generally, dental fillings are used to fill the area of a tooth a dentist removed due to a cavity. With that said, they can also be used to repair cracked teeth, teeth that are worn down, and broken teeth.
Types of Tooth Fillings
There are different types of tooth fillings that your dentist may choose from. Below are some of the different options that may be available:
· Amalgam. Amalgam fillings are made with different metals, which include silver, zinc, mercury, and copper. These are a very popular option. Amalgam fillings often last around 10-15 years and are usually a more affordable option.
· Gold. Gold fillings are strong and durable. Like amalgam, they often last 10-15 years. With that said, they are generally more expensive and take multiple trips to the dentist to place. They also stand out more, which may be an advantage or disadvantage.
· Composite. Composite fillings are made with powdered glass and acrylic resin. They are a great material for the creation of fillings of different sizes, and they can look very similar in appearance to a natural tooth. While the look of composite fillings is a major advantage, they come with a cost. Composite fillings will often last a shorter amount of time—sometimes as little as 5 years.
The type of filling you have placed will depend on your budget, insurance, your dentist’s recommendations, and your personal preference. Speak with the staff at Nova Dental to learn more about the cost of fillings and your insurance coverage.
The Tooth Filling Procedure
The process of having a filling placed can be broken up into a few steps. First, you’ll visit your dentist for a checkup or because you are experiencing pain/discomfort. They will take a look at your tooth and see what is causing the damage and how severe it is. This includes a visual exam and possibly an x-ray. From there, they will determine if you need a tooth filling.
Before the procedure begins, your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic to help with pain and discomfort. If you have a cavity, they will remove any decay with a drill or laser. They will then prep the area where the filling is being placed to ensure there is no debris or bacteria. The material for the tooth filling will then be placed and polished.
If a material needs to be fabricated for the filling, a temporary filling will be placed. Once the dental filling is fabricated, the temporary filling will be removed, and the permanent filling will be placed. Otherwise, the filling process should only take one visit to the dentist.
Costs of Fillings
There are a few different factors that go into the cost of dental fillings. Some of the factors involved include:
· The level of tooth decay
· The material that is being used
· The location of the tooth
· The particular dentist
· Insurance coverage
· How much anesthesia is necessary
With all of this said, the cost is often around $75 to $200 per tooth. For a more specific estimate, reach out to our team at Nova Dental. We’d be happy to discuss an estimated rate.
A lot of the time, dental insurance will cover at least part of a dental filling procedure. They are extremely common. With that said, you’ll need to check your insurance plan to learn more about the level of coverage.
Immediately after the placement of a filling, you’ll want to avoid very hot or cold foods and hard foods. You also will need to stop the use of tobacco products for a period of time. This may be upwards of 12 hours. Do not irritate the area where the filling was placed. Expect the area around your filling to be numb a few hours after the procedure.
If you are experiencing pain while chewing or you have an ongoing toothache, reach out to your dentist and schedule an appointment for them to take a look.
Avoid a Dental Filling
While dental fillings are pretty routine, they can be easily avoided. Make sure to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth out twice a day, every day. Also, set an appointment with Nova Dental every six months so we can perform a professional cleaning and checkup. During this time, we’ll be able to catch any oral health issues early on. If tooth decay is found, your dentist can remove it and place a filling. If you allow the decay to persist, though, it can lead to the need for a root canal treatment or even an extraction.
If you have a cracked, damaged, or worn down tooth, you should make an appointment between visits so a dentist at Nova Dental can take a look at the tooth. Don’t wait until your next appointment. This is especially so if your tooth is severely damaged.
If you don’t already have an appointment in the books, make sure you contact Nova Dental and schedule one today.
Speak with Your Dentist
Whether you need a filling, what types of fillings are available, and other questions can be addressed by your dentist. Speak with your dentist for more information about the tooth filling procedure. If you have any questions about costs and/or insurance, speak with our office. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and get you scheduled for an appointment!