Are you experiencing tooth pain? Does your mouth hurt every time you chew?
For our patients who do 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 strive to never need a dental filling. You can prevent the need for dental fillings by brushing and flossing daily, and visiting 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.
Preventative Dental Care
Our team can use dental sealants to prevent tooth decay in both children and adults. Sealants are thin protective layers of a special resin that covers teeth. This protective layer effectively prevents tooth decay from taking hold. Children benefit the most from this procedure because they are still growing.
About Dental Fillings
A dental filling is used to repair teeth that are decayed, worn, or damaged. Dental fillings restore strength and beauty to the tooth and help protect the tooth from future damage. There are many choices in material for dental fillings.
In our Columbia, SC dental office, our dentists usually prefers to use a metal-free dental filling material for the most natural-looking restoration. This type of filling is color-matched to your smile for an aesthetically pleasing result. It can be used to 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. Dr. Trinkner or Dr. Keefer will apply a tooth-colored resin directly to the tooth and sculpt it. It will be unnoticeable. In most cases, tooth bonding procedures are completed in a single visit. Resin dental fillings can be very durable when properly cared for, but do not last as long as a porcelain filling.
Porcelain Dental Fillings
Porcelain dental fillings may also be called inlays, onlays, or partial crowns. A porcelain filling is well suited for those who have more significant damage or tooth decay but don’t require a root canal. We will take an impression of the tooth and create a model for the laboratory where the porcelain inlay/onlay will be fabricated.
Dental Filling FAQs
Why Do You Need A Filling?
When food particles and plaque are allowed to remain on your teeth for extended periods of time due to irregular brushing and flossing or because the food is sticky, bacteria accumulate and feed on this. These 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 discolor gradually depending as it dissolves. 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.
How Do You Recognize Decay?
- 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
If you see or feel any of the above, it may be time to see your dentist for an examination.
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.
Eventually, if it is not treated, you may feel an electric sensation or sudden sensitivity when eating certain foods and constant pain that lasts for hours and can only be relieved with medication.
How Does the Dentist Choose A Filling?
Filling materials were once usually silver amalgam and later were done with a cement like glass ionomer. These days, the most widely used filling substance is plastic composite, a tooth-colored material that is soft when applied but hardens when cured with a UV light, chemically bonding it to your teeth.
How Much Will It Cost?
Costs of fillings can vary widely on:
- The material being used by the dentist
- Skill and experience of the dentist
- The size of the filling
- Amount of remaining tooth structure
What Should I Expect After A Filling?
When filled with composite, you should be allowed to eat immediately afterward with no precautions. At that point, your tooth is as good as new and you will most likely be unable to see where the filing was done.
You may feel some mild to moderate sensitivity in the just-filled tooth which should abate within 48 hours. The filling may take some time and wear and adjust to if it is slightly over or under the level of your bite.
How Long Will My Filling Last?
Contrary to popular belief, a filling is not permanent. They can last anywhere from 3-7 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.