One of the most common dental treatments—one you've probably heard about since your childhood years—is a cavity filling. A filling covers and protects the exposed tooth enamel after decay has been identified and removed from a tooth. This allows the previously infected tooth to get stronger and maintain its good health. Understand how a filling placed by your dentist at Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT, can make your smile healthy again.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A filling is a restorative dental treatment that uses a protective material (usually composite resin, porcelain, or glass ionomer) to replace lost enamel. When a cavity is treated, some of the enamel has to be removed to expose the decay. After treatment, the dental filling is added in layers to the outer surfaces of the teeth, matching the pits and fissures for a natural look. When filled, bad bacteria can't compromise the tooth again if you keep it healthy.
Types of Fillings
The default choice for fillings in the past was amalgam, which has a dark metallic look. It's durable and provides long-lasting protection from future decay. More recently, patients are choosing tooth-colored fillings because they preserve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth while also securing it from damage. They are made of composite resin, glass ionomer, or porcelain—all materials that your dentist can color-match with your tooth.
Making Your Smile Healthy
Without a filling, decay will continue to progress until it ultimately claims the tooth. It's best to get ahead of the problem to avoid expensive and more time-consuming treatments. With a protective filling, your tooth has a chance to get better and return to full health. You can chew your food with confidence again, instead of living in fear of dental discomfort. A filling will last between five to 15 years (possibly longer) if you brush often and have your teeth examined regularly by a dentist.
Keep Your Smile Intact
Without a filling, a dental cavity can progress to a more serious infection. Make sure to have your teeth checked by your dentist at Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT, to see if you need a filling. Call 203-924-4115 today for an appointment.