When it concerns protecting your dental health, one of the most common procedures patients undergo is receiving dental fillings. While many people have experienced this treatment, there are still several questions that patients may need to be answered to feel confident about undergoing this procedure.
What Are Dental Fillings Made Of?
Amalgam, composite resin, gold alloys, and ceramics are among the most common options for having fillings. Amalgam fillings are durable and cost-effective but may appear less aesthetically pleasing due to their silver color. Composite resin fillings closely match the natural color of your teeth but may not last as long as amalgam or gold options. Ceramic fillings offer excellent aesthetics but can be more brittle than other materials.
Choosing the appropriate filling material depends on where the filling will be placed, along with your aesthetic preferences and budget considerations. Your dentist can help you weigh these options to make the right choice for your tooth restoration needs.
Can You Get Cavities Under A Filling?
Recurrent decay refers to the formation of new cavities around or underneath existing dental fillings. This can happen when bacteria penetrate gaps between the tooth structure and filling material. Inadequate oral hygiene practices contribute significantly towards recurrent decay development. While the filling will not be vulnerable to decay, patients must diligently clean their teeth to avoid this potentially painful cavity.
Are There Potential Side Effects To Getting A Dental Filling?
Some patients may find that they experience tooth sensitivity or mild pain after getting a dental filling. These issues often subside within a few days following the procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate mild discomfort after the procedure. If your side effects persist or worsen, contacting your dentist is crucial for identifying potential complications requiring further attention.
Can You Whiten Teeth with Fillings?
Teeth whitening treatments typically target surface or deep stains on natural tooth surfaces. While dental fillings are naturally resistant to staining, they can develop stains after many years. Unfortunately, patients may attempt to use home-based whitening kits to remove these stains. These kits are unlikely to be effective in correcting filling discoloration, which can lead to the patient assuming this can not be corrected.
For patients interested in restoring their smile's aesthetic appeal while addressing discolored dental fillings, alternatives include replacing discolored fillings with tooth-colored composite materials or dental crowns. Replacing the filling with a new one made of composite materials can instantly correct the staining issues so that your smile is returned to its original look.
Contact a dentist to learn more.