Dental Fillings: What You Need To Know

Posted on: 10 September 2021


When you have tooth decay, dental fillings are used to restore the teeth to normal health. Fillings need regular care to keep them intact and to ensure they last. Here are some things you should know to keep your fillings in good condition and prevent breakage:

Why Are Fillings Necessary?

When you have a cavity, your dentist will drill out the decayed portion of the tooth. Left behind is an opening in your tooth and the remaining healthy tissue. In years prior, mercury was the primary component in fillings. You now have better options to fill the teeth, including resin that can be matched with the shade of your natural teeth. You can also opt for silver amalgam, glass ionomer, or even gold. The filling material is placed where the decay was removed to reshape and restore the tooth to a more natural state to ensure you can use it effectively.

Do Dental Fillings Hurt?

You might encounter some discomfort when you get a filling, depending on how large the cavity is. Any discomfort should be slight and typically subsides within a day. If you have severe pain that does not go away, you need to call your dentist to see if there are complications.

What Is the Best Way To Care for Dental Fillings?

The best care for dental fillings is a healthy oral hygiene regimen. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing regularly is an important part of keeping your dental fillings in good condition. You should also rinse with mouthwash to help reduce bacteria that can cause more decay in the rest of your tooth. Keep in mind that just because you have a filling in a tooth does not mean it cannot endure more decay. A different portion of the tooth can still get cavities. If your filled tooth gets a new cavity, you may lose the tooth completely if it has already been filled. A tooth cannot sustain too much filling material. If there is not enough healthy tooth tissue to sustain the integrity of the tooth, the dentist may opt to pull it.

Dental fillings can break or even fall out if they are not properly cared for. If you notice any of your filled teeth are loose or you see something strange when you look at your filling, it will probably need to be replaced. See your dentist right away if you suspect an issue with your dental fillings.