Are you experiencing tooth pain? Does your tooth hurt every time you chew? For our patients who need dental fillings, Dr. Trinkner and Dr. Keefer offer a range of options. Our goal is always to provide you with the most modern treatments available. This means the minimal preparation of teeth with special ultrasonic instruments, and the use of highly-esthetic materials such as resin and porcelain. Our dental care team offers pain-free dental filling procedures in Richland County, South Carolina.
You should strive to never need a dental filling. You can prevent the need for dental fillings by brushing and flossing daily. Also be sure to visit Dr. Trinkner and Dr. Keefer regularly for professional teeth cleanings and bi-annual dental exams. Although no matter how hard you try, chances are that you will develop a cavity or two in your lifetime.
Many cavities form between teeth, so it is always important to floss regularly. Visit the dentist to remove plaque and tartar from the hard to reach places. Only a dental care professional can remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth. Continue reading to learn about getting a dental filling in Columbia, SC.
Dental Fillings in our Columbia, SC Dental Office
Our Columbia dental office can use a dental filling to repair decayed, worn, and damaged teeth. A dental filling will restore strength and beauty to your tooth and help protect it from future damage after our dentist clears out the cavity.
There are now a variety of materials available to dentists when it comes to filling teeth. From traditional metals such as amalgam and gold, to newer materials like composite resin and porcelain, there is a wide range of options that dentists can use to restore teeth to their original form and function. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks, making it important for patients to discuss the pros and cons with their dentist before making a decision regarding which material is best for them.
In our Columbia, SC dental office, our dentists prefer to use a metal-free dental filling material to create the most natural-looking results. We provide composite resin fillings and porcelain fillings! We color-match this type of filling so that it matches the color of your real teeth. We can also replace old dark fillings for an instant smile makeover!
Resin Dental Fillings
Composite resin dental fillings are ideal for patients who have minimal tooth decay or minor cosmetic problems. We can use this type of filling to restore the shape, size and function of your teeth. Resin dental fillings can last a long time when you properly maintain them, but do not last as long as a porcelain filling.
In most cases, we can complete a tooth filling procedure in a single visit! The process is simple. Dr. Trinkner or Dr. Keefer will first prepare your tooth for the filling by clearing out the infection and tooth cavity. Then he will apply a tooth-colored resin directly to the tooth and sculpt it by hand. To set it in place, he will expose the filling to a UV light. The end result will be indistinguishable from your real tooth enamel.
Porcelain Dental Fillings
Porcelain dental fillings can repair chips, cracks, and cavities, close gaps between teeth, and fix other tooth damage. You may also know them as inlays, onlays, or partial crowns. A porcelain filling is best for our patients that have more significant damage from tooth decay but don’t require a root canal.
The process is very similar to getting a resin dental filling, but with added steps. First, we will clean the tooth and take a dental impression. Then, we will use this impression to create a model of the tooth and send it to our dental laboratory. The dental lab will use the impression to fabricate a very detailed porcelain inlay or onlay. Then they will send it to us so that we can install it on your tooth. This process usually takes two visits to our dental office, spanning about two weeks.
Dental Filling FAQs
Dental fillings are a common and important part of maintaining excellent oral health. We can fix cavities, repair broken or cracked teeth, and prevent further damage to your teeth using fillings. It is important to understand what dental fillings are and other factors to help you decide if this treatment is for you. This section will answer some commonly asked questions about dental fillings.
Why Do You Need A Filling?
When you allow food particles and plaque to remain on your teeth for extended periods of time, bacteria accumulates on your teeth and thrive. Especially when you do not brush your teeth regularly and floss. The bacteria release digestive acids which begin to eat away at the enamel while they are feasting on the plaque.
Your enamel, the hard outer layer of your tooth, begins to gradually discolor and dissolve. If allowed to continue, a part of the tooth enamel will eventually chip away forming a cavity that exposes the sensitive insides of your tooth.
You need a dental filling after the dentist clears out the infection to prevent sensitivity and protect your tooth from new infections. A filling can also save your tooth root and prevent the need for a tooth extraction.
How Do You Recognize Tooth Decay?
It may be time to see your dentist for an exam if you have tooth pain in one tooth, or are sensitive to hot and cold foods. Other symptoms of tooth decay include the following:
- Dark spots or grayish to black areas on your front teeth
- Chipped off areas that your tongue often goes into
- Holes where food gets stuck
- Bad breath
- Toothache that won’t go away
But what does decay feel like? It can start with mild sensitivity to cold or hot liquids or sensitivity when eating sweet food. It often moves on to prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks and slight pain when biting or chewing.
If you do not address the issue in time, you may eventually feel an electric sensation or sudden shock when eating certain foods. You may also feel constant pain that lasts for hours and temporarily goes away with medication.
How Does the Dentist Choose A Filling?
Our dentists take into account various factors when deciding which type of filling to use. Factors such as the size and location of the cavity, the patient’s age, budget, and preferences. We also consider the type of material to use to make fillings, such as porcelain, silver amalgam, or composite resin. Ultimately, choosing a filling requires careful consideration from both dentist and patient in order to ensure optimal oral health.
Filling materials were once usually silver amalgam and later consisted of a cement like glass ionomer. These days, the most common filling a dentist chooses is composite resin. This tooth-colored material is soft when our dentist applies it, but hardens when he cures it using a UV light to chemically bond it to your tooth.
How Much Will a Dental Filling Cost?
Dental fillings are a common procedure for restoring damaged teeth. It is important to know how much a dental filling will cost before you decide to have the procedure. Fortunately, most dental insurance plans cover the overall cost. The costs of dental fillings can vary widely depending on the following:
- The material the dentist uses for the procedure
- The size of the cavity and filling
- Amount of remaining tooth structure
What Should I Expect After A Filling?
After getting a dental filling, you can use your mouth to eat and drink as soon as the numbing goes away. At this point, your tooth is as good as new and you will most likely be unable to tell the difference between the filing and your tooth.
You may feel some mild to moderate sensitivity in the just-filled tooth, which should abate within 48 hours. If the filling is large enough, it may take a day or two for you to begin to adjust to it.
How Long Will My Filling Last?
Contrary to popular belief, a filling is not permanent. They can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years on average but need regular annual examinations by your dentist. If you notice any discoloration, darkening, or chipping under the filling, schedule an appointment to see your dentist immediately. These signs show a breakdown and indicate the need for replacement of the filling.
Schedule a Dental Exam Today
When properly cared for, dental fillings can last for many years. Call us at 803-400-8729 to schedule a cavity filling procedure with our dentists, or request a dental exam online. We can determine if you need a dental filling or a root canal with an initial dental exam. Do not assume your diagnosis before consulting with a local dental professional.