What is the Process to Get a Dental Filling?
After local anesthetic has properly numbed the tooth, the cavity must first be removed. The cavity portion of the tooth is the part that is infected with bacteria. This is accomplished by use of either a drill or a laser. After all of the bacteria and any previous restorations have been removed, the tooth is then isolated, etched, primed, and bonded with composite resin. The size of the dental filling and the number of tooth surfaces requiring treatment will depend on the extent of the damage done by the spread of the tooth decay. The finished result is a restoration that blends with the rest of the tooth so that it is not noticeable.
What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay (cavities). Having a tooth "filled" is a very common proceede and can be completed in one appointment at the office. While there are several kinds of materials used for this procedure, Dr. Eckel only uses composite. Composite resin material is made of a combination of resin and glass, and is more natural-looking. Composite has not only the benefit of being cosmetic but is also the only filling restoration that also will bond to the tooth itself.
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Dental Fillings
Prior to initiating any treatment you will be provided a prioritized treatment plan that will list what your estimated costs and insurance coverage will be for your procedure. The cost of dental fillings will vary depending upon a variety of factors including the extent of the decay and insurance plan coverage. Our staff is happy to review your coverage with you to ensure that you are maximizing your insurance benefits while minimizing any out of pocket expense.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Composite Fillings
How long will dental fillings last?
When a composite filling has been placed properly under isolation and site preparation design has been appropriately followed, the longevity of the restoration can be many years, even a lifetime. This of course assumes that the patient is doing their part by daily flossing and brushing.
Should I replace my old metal fillings?
Dr. Eckel recommends only replacing fillings of any kind when there is a clear need to do so such as with recurrent decay, pain, or cracking or breaking of the tooth or filling. If you notice any of the issues listed above, we recommend that you schedule an exam as soon as possible.
How do I know if I might need fillings?
Cavities that are candidates for fillings will typically have no outward signs or symptoms. If a tooth begins to hurt or has a visible hole then a filling may no longer be able to predictably restore the tooth to health. Tooth decay spreads with time and the longer a cavity is left untreated the greater the amount of irreversible damage is done to tooth structure. The earlier a cavity is identified and treated the better.