Dental fillings: 5 important things to know

Smiling woman at dentist sitting in dentist chair ready for a dental check-up.

Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. It is typically the treatment of choice when cavities arise. It may seem intimidating to get a filling, but knowing as much as possible about the process can help reduce anxiety.

Dental fillings: An overview

Fillings in teeth are performed by dentists in order to treat tooth decay and to maintain their health, function and appearance. Below are 5 facts you should know about dental fillings.

1. There are different types of fillings

There are various types of dental fillings, and the patient and dentist must decide which type is appropriate. Among them are:

  • Amalgam
  • Composite
  • Metals
  • Ceramic
  • Gold

There are many types of fillings, and amalgam is perhaps the most common. If the teeth are further back in the mouth, metals and gold may be a good choice, however porcelain, which is tooth-colored, is probably the better alternative.

2. The recovery time is short

Within several hours following the procedure, patients can begin eating and function somewhat normally. A dental filling procedure is likely to cause sensitivity and soreness for the first day or two, but most people recover completely within 48 hours.

3. Proper aftercare is important

As with any oral health procedure, aftercare is crucial because there is a higher risk of infection for the first few hours or even days after the procedure. Also, good oral care (e.g., using mouthwash frequently) can help reduce pain and soreness in the affected area.

4. It is most often a painless procedure

Pain management medications can be provided if necessary to manage discomfort, and the procedure is usually painless. A cavity may, however, cause some sensitivity near the site. It is likely that the patient will feel numb after the procedure, but there should be very little pain.

5. Dental fillings preserve tooth health

In many cases, dental fillings are a necessary procedure for patients with decayed teeth because a deteriorating condition is more likely to occur without treatment. In addition to preventing decay, fillings reduce the risk of infection and may allow the patient to maintain their natural tooth. Placing off fillings often result in the need for root canals or tooth replacements down the road.

Find out more about dental fillings

For more information about dental fillings or to arrange an examination to see if a filling can help you, contact us right away. The entire dental fillings process can be explained to you by our team of dentists.

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DCA of Buffalo