Enamel, the mineralized material that forms the outer covering of your teeth, can either chip, crack, break or decay as a result of physical trauma, misuse, or poor oral hygiene. When that happens, the professional team of dentists at Harper Dental can help repair the damage and restore normal function using dental fillings.
For most people, a toothache is one of the first signs that they may need a filling. The type of pain could either be a persistent, dull, throbbing ache or a sharp pain that shoots through your mouth when you're drinking or chewing. Sudden, isolated sensitivity is another warning sign. This uncomfortable sensation is the result of exposed or overactive dental nerves reacting to cold or hot things you place in your mouth.
Cavities are another sign that you need a filling. These holes can show up as dark or discolored spots on your teeth. You may also need help if dental floss keeps fraying when you're using it between a particular set of teeth alternatively if a tooth feels rough or jagged when you run your tongue over it.
You may still need a filling even if the above signs or symptoms are absent because the damage is minor and currently not causing issues. Small tooth defects, however, if left unchecked and untreated, can grow and expose the tooth pulp to infection. At this point, instead of a simple filling, you would require a root canal and possibly a crown if the damage to the enamel is extensive.
Materials Used for Dental Fillings
Composite resin is the most commonly used material for dental fillings. They are popular because they are tooth-colored and therefore look natural. Here at Harper Dental, our team can assist you in determining if fillings are the best option for you.
What to Expect
Our dentists will first examine your teeth to determine if you need a filling, we use a metal instrument called an explorer. Healthy enamel is durable and will not give way under pressure of the explorer's sharp tip. We may also use cavity-detecting dye or laser fluorescence. X-rays are also used to check the extent of the damage.
Before we start working on the tooth or teeth, we'll numb the area around the tooth, gums, and jaw with a local anesthetic. Next, we'll remove any signs of decay from the tooth and prepare the cavity for repair. We then apply a bonding material along with the filling material. The bonding material reduces the risk of leakage or deterioration under the filling. The mixture is cured and hardened using a special blue light. Polishing is the final step of the treatment procedure.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort with a particular tooth or for more information on the different types of dental fillings we offer, call Harper Dental at (479) 431-0280.
5422 Euper Ln, Fort Smith, AR