in mission viejo, ca
A dental filling may be your best solution to restore a healthy smile if you have tooth cavities or damage from tooth decay. At Ranch Dental Studio, we are committed to providing quality, personalized dental care. With our cutting-edge procedures, you can be confident that we will address any dental concern, leaving your smile looking and feeling its best!
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings can help restore a damaged tooth's health, shape, and function. They are usually used as a solution for cavities, but can also repair chipped, fractured, or worn teeth. Dental fillings protect the tooth structure from further deterioration, which could potentially result in tooth sensitivity or even an abscess. If cavities are left untreated, you may be looking at more involved treatments down the road, including a root canal procedure, crowns, extractions, implants, or dentures.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a minor, quick procedure that stops a tooth affected by decay from deteriorating further. These restorations offer a long-lasting solution and can deliver a natural-looking appearance, without interfering with your smile. The procedure is low cost as compared to more involved treatments and your dental insurance will typically cover the bulk of the expenses.
Are There Any Risks?
Dental fillings carry almost no risks. You may develop pain and temporary sensitivity to heat and cold, but these conditions should resolve. If you suffer from medical conditions such as having heart problems, we may prescribe antibiotics before your dental procedure to avoid potential infection.
With time, your dental filling may begin to wear away, chip, or crack. Bacteria can enter under your restoration, causing further decay. You may not be able to tell that your fillings are wearing down, so make sure to keep up with your routine dental checkups to allow us to identify any potential weaknesses or damage.
What Are the Types of Fillings?
There are many types of restorative fillings available to you. When determining which restoration to choose, we will take into account the location of the cavity, the extent of the damage, your desired cosmetic outcome, and the cost of the filling material. Following are the most commonly used types of fillings.
Also known as silver fillings, these restorations have been around for decades. They are composed of a mixture of metals including mercury, copper, tins, silver, or zinc. Amalgam fillings have been shown to be safe and offer the least costly choice as compared to other types of restorations. Their main advantages are strength and longevity, withstanding chewing forces and lasting more than 15 years. Their main disadvantage is their silver color, making them not the choice aesthetic solution.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are made up of powdered glass and acrylic resins. They can be color matched to your existing teeth, delivering natural-looking cosmetic solutions. They work best for small to mid-size restorations with a moderate amount of chewing pressure. Composite resin fillings are usually used to fill front teeth or to restore chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
Porcelain or Ceramic Fillings
Porcelain or ceramic fillings look and feel like your natural teeth, and offer a durable, cosmetic solution. They are resistant to staining and can last more than 15 years. However, they are costly as compared to other types of restorations.
What Are Direct and Indirect Fillings?
Direct fillings, also known as chairside fillings, are dental restorations used for small to averagely sized cavities. These treatments typically take a single visit to complete. Indirect fillings, on the other hand, are used to repair extensive damage with not enough tooth structure left to support a direct restoration, but not enough damage to justify the use of a dental crown. Indirect fillings are created in a dental laboratory and placed during a follow-up appointment.
Inlays and onlays are two types of indirect fillings. Inlays are placed inside the tooth with the cusps, while onlays, also known as partial crowns, are used to replace one or two cusps of teeth as well as fill in the cavity. Indirect fillings are durable, often lasting 30 years or even a lifetime!
What Should You Expect?
For a direct filling, we will start by numbing your teeth and surrounding tissue using a local anesthetic. You may opt for nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas to keep you relaxed and comfortable.
We will drill out your tooth decay and place a filling in the cavity. We will shape it to look and feel natural. Based on the type of material used, we may need to harden the filling using a curing light. We will trim off any excess material, then polish your restoration.
An indirect filling requires a few additional steps. We will prepare your tooth as we would with a direct filling procedure, then we will take an impression to send to a dental laboratory for fabrication. You will need a temporary filling to protect your teeth while your final restoration gets ready. Once done, we will cement your inlay or onlay into place, restoring your tooth's function and your smile!
Caring for Your Restorations
You will need to care for your restorations just as you would for your natural teeth. Make sure to maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing daily with dental floss or an interdental cleaner. It is essential that you keep up with routine checkups and cleanings to prevent future cavities and gum disease.
Your Dental Care Starts Here
Schedule your appointment with Rancho Dental Studio to learn more about dental fillings and how they can restore your teeth. We will work with you to ensure that your teeth and smile remain healthy for years to come. With quality care second to none, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. We are all about your dental health and wellness. Call us today!