Dental Fillings in Huntsville, AL

Cavities are a prevalent dental issue, affecting everyone from young children to adults. It’s estimated that 91% of adults in America will have at least one cavity during their lifetime. This common dental problem occurs due to the decay of tooth enamel, often resulting from poor oral hygiene, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning teeth well. While cavities can cause discomfort and lead to more serious oral health issues if left untreated, modern dentistry offers effective solutions for their treatment. Among these, dental fillings stand out as a primary method for restoring the integrity and functionality of the affected teeth.

Understanding Dental Fillings

Dental-Fillings-in-Huntsville-ALDentists use dental fillings to repair or restore teeth by filling empty spaces with durable materials. By closing the cavity, we can restore the tooth’s structural integrity. We also use fillings to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth worn down from grinding, also known as bruxism. Dental fillings are one of the most common and varied dental procedures, with a range of materials available for the filling.

What Materials Can Fillings Be Made From?

A variety of materials, tailored to your needs, preferences, and budget, are available for dental fillings, ensuring personalized and effective care:

  • Gold: This is the most expensive option but also one of the most long-lasting, with a lifespan of 15+ years.
  • Silver amalgam: An amalgam is a mixture or blend of materials, and a filling made of silver amalgam may include silver, zinc, tin, and copper. This option lasts 10-15 years and can be less expensive than other options. This material is more suitable for back teeth because it leaves the tooth with a greyish color.
  • Tooth-colored composite resin: Dr. Clayton will work with you to select a shade of resin to match your natural teeth. The resin bonds with your existing tooth, creating a stronger connection and a seamless look. A resin filling lasts five to 10 years but may chip and stain like a real tooth. They can be more expensive than silver fillings and take longer to complete, but they have a more pleasing appearance.
  • Ceramic/porcelain: This option lasts longer and is more resistant to staining than composite resin but may cost as much as gold.
  • Glass ionomer: A combination of acrylic and a specific type of glass, this material is mostly used for fillings below the gum line. It gradually releases fluoride that helps prevent further decay. However, it is weaker than resin and typically doesn’t last as long, though its price is about the same.

The process of filling a tooth differs slightly depending on which type of material you choose. For example, a composite filling adds the extra step of shade matching the resin, while gold fillings require multiple office visits to complete.

How Do I Know If My Filling Needs to Be Replaced?

There are a few reasons that would indicate it’s time to replace your filling:

  1. Wear and tear: The daily pressure of chewing, clenching, and grinding may cause your filling to chip, crack, or wear down. Dr. Clayton can identify any problems during your regular dental cleaning.
  2. The seal is compromised: The seal connecting the enamel and your filling may break, causing bacteria and tiny food particles to accumulate and cause additional decay.
  3. The filling falls out: Fillings may fall out for various reasons. If the cavity is large, replacing the filling might not be possible. Instead, we can protect the tooth with a dental crown.

Dental Fillings Restore Your Oral Health

If you need treatment for a cavity or repair for a small chip or crack in your tooth, a dental filling could be the ideal solution. At Chase Family Dentistry, we’ll walk you through all your options for filling materials and help you make the best choice for your situation. Schedule an appointment with us today, and take the first step towards improving your oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

The success rate of dental fillings hinges on two key factors. The material used plays a crucial role in the lifespan of the filling. Equally significant is your lifestyle and oral hygiene routine. Like natural teeth, the better you care for your fillings, the longer they will last.

No, thanks to local anesthesia and Dr. Clayton’s experienced hand, getting a dental filling is a painless process. Any minor discomfort or sensitivity you may feel afterward should diminish in a few days. If pain persists, reach out to us for guidance.

The cost of your dental filling will depend on the material you choose. Dr. Clayton can give you a better idea of the price when you discuss this choice at your appointment. In many cases, dental insurance will help cover the costs of fillings, though your policy may not cover the filling in full. We can review your insurance plan and help you make an informed decision.