How Do Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are incredibly common since they are used to treat a wide variety of dental problems. There is a pretty good chance that you will get a filling at some point in your life, especially if you have weak enamel or if you have suffered from poor hygiene habits. However, you might not understand exactly how fillings work or how they help you. To help you get a better idea of how fillings really work, here are some of the basics:

What is a dental filling?

At the most basic level, a dental filling is just a solution that is injected into a cavity in a tooth. This solution replaces the missing portion of the tooth once it has hardened and attached to the tooth. Once the filling process is complete, your tooth should be restored from a health perspective. With some materials, the filling can be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

What materials are used for fillings?

Most commonly, silver and composite resin are used. Both are cheap and effective solutions that offer their unique benefits. Silver is going to last a bit longer, but resin will blend in much better and won't be nearly as obvious.

That being said, you can also get porcelain or gold fillings if you want. Porcelain is a more expensive and more durable version of resin, whereas gold fillings are extremely durable and can last you for the rest of your life.

Why are fillings necessary?

There are a wide variety of reasons why fillings might be necessary for you. Bacteria can slowly wear down the enamel on teeth, which can then expose the inner parts of your teeth. If bacteria continues to worm down into your teeth, it can affect the root and lead to immense pain. This is when you would need to get a root canal, which would involve scooping out the pulp inside your tooth and getting a crown.

By diagnosing the cavity earlier and getting a filling, you are saving yourself from the pain of getting a root canal later. Not only will you be able to avoid the miserable pain that accompanies infections of the dental pulp, but you will also be able to save quite a bit of money, since fillings (between $50 and $150 for silver) often end up being much cheaper than root canals (often between $900 and $1100) and crowns ($500 at the bare minimum), both of which are often necessary in the event that your dental pulp is infected and compromised. Contact a dentist, such as Charles Smith DDS, for more information.