Most people will get at least one cavity throughout the course of their life. That’s why fillings are one of the most common procedures out there for dental patients. Fillings are a simple procedure that cause little to no pain. Still, some people have anxiety about this quick and easy fix for tooth decay. Here is a little bit of information to let you know what to expect when you go to your dentist next time you have a cavity. As you’ll see, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Sometimes teeth will build up decay to the point that it compromises the structure of your teeth. In these cases, crowns are called for which fit over the tooth. However, minor fillings are simple fixes for tooth decay that don’t require crowns, molds, or bridges.
What is the filling procedure?
Thanks to advances in dentistry in recent years, dental fillings are a simple procedure that cause hardly any pain. To remove decayed material from your tooth, a drill will be taken to it. This is after an anaesthetic has been applied, so you will only feel a slight vibration in your jaw. An alternative to anaesthetic is sedation, in which case you will remain aware during the procedure, but you will not feel anything. You will have no memory of being sedated. This is a great alternative, but it’s a bit more expensive than regular anaesthetic.
After decayed material has been removed, your tooth will be filled with a polymer resin, which is applied in layers and cured with a special light, after which your dentist will trim and polish the filling. Previously, dentists used a silver amalgam, which was much more visible, and which had a tendency to expand and contract, causing further problems with patients’ teeth. New polymers make this complication a thing of the past.
After a filling, some patients have reported a mild discomfort in their jaw. This is usually not from the filling itself, but from the injection site of the anaesthetic. Don’t be too worried if you feel a slight ache afterwards.
How much does it cost?
The cost of tooth fillings varies, but on average you can expect to pay around $150 without insurance. This is one of the most affordable dental procedures. The price will seem especially fair when constrasted with the consequence of not having the procedure done. In that case, look forward to further tooth decay and possibly nerve damage resulting in worse pain.
How do you take care of fillings?
Unfortunately, fillings won’t last forever. Teeth are one of the most stressed parts of the body, being used strenuously several times every day. Add on top of this the propensity of some people to bite their nails and grind their teeth, and you will see why fillings would be prone to fall apart over time. If you take great care of your teeth, you can expect your fillings to last anywhere from 7 to 10 years. That’s a pretty reasonable amount of time, but it’s still something that you need to keep on top of if you want your teeth to keep working for you.
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