When a tooth has become damaged by decay, a filling is used to repair it and return its normal function and shape. During treatment, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material and clean the tooth of any debris. Next, he fills in the cleaned out cavity with one of the types of filling materials. A filling protects the tooth from further decay or damage due to its weakened state.
Dr. Loev will discuss the filling options available to the patient and together they will choose the material to be used. The factors affecting the type of filling include the extent of the damage, whether the person has allergies to certain materials, where in the person’s mouth the filling is required, and how much the material will cost. The types of fillings include:
Fillings can wear over time and some materials, like the white composite resin, can become stained. Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching teeth can damage fillings with chips, cracks or accelerated wear. When the seal between the filling and the tooth is breached, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can enter the tooth causing additional decay. If this happens and is not treated, the decay could reach the pulpy center of the tooth and necessitate a root canal.
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