Dental fillings, commonly referred to simply as “fillings,” are one of the most common restorative dental procedures performed in the United States. Fillings are used to effectively correct damage caused by tooth decay or trauma, including cavities. Modern fillings are made from a variety of materials, including porcelain and resin, and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth for a streamlined, nearly invisible appearance.
At Gonzales Dental, we offer top-quality porcelain inlays and natural-looking onlays, or restorations, for patients of all ages. Our team utilizes the most cutting-edge materials and advanced techniques to deliver long-lasting results. We also offer replacement of old or outdated fillings, including silver fillings, which are known to wear down faster than fillings made from other materials.
For more information on our dental fillings in Gonzales and the nearby areas, call (830) 971-0268 or contact us online and set up an appointment with our team.
Fillings are used to treat cavities (small holes in the teeth), as well as various stages of tooth damage and decay. The process is fast and simple: first, your dentist removes all decayed or damaged tooth tissue before filling the resulting space with the material of choice.
Dental fillings are the first line of defense when it comes to stopping tooth decay and preventing further damage. If left untreated, cavities and other issues can lead to extensive problems with the tooth and even the surrounding gums. At this point, more invasive procedures, such as root canals or tooth extraction, may be required.
Types of Fillings
In the past, silver was the most common material used in dental fillings. Now, however, there are many better, stronger, and more attractive options available. In fact, silver fillings are generally considered to be among the weakest type of dental filling, and may wear down much faster than newer, more advanced materials. Additionally, silver fillings may contain up to 50% mercury, a harmful substance that can lead to unsightly stains on the teeth and gums. As a result, most dental offices—including ours—no longer offer silver fillings.
Instead, dentists more often offer modern types of dental fillings, including those made from:
Composite fillings are widely considered to be the best option, as they are very strong and last a long time. Additionally, they are tooth-colored and advances in this technology have led to even greater durability.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Although there are many things that can cause tooth decay, the most common culprit is acid. When you eat and drink, particularly foods and beverages that are high in sugar and carbohydrates, the acids interact with the enamel in your teeth. Over time, the enamel may start to lose minerals, meaning it will become weaker. This often appears as a white spot on the tooth where the minerals have been lost.
It is possible for enamel to repair itself at this point. Using fluoride, including fluoride-containing toothpastes and mouth washes, can aid in stopping the progression of decay or even reversing it. However, if tooth decay continues, the enamel will become extremely damaged. At this point, a cavity will likely form.
Once you have a cavity, it must be filled by a dentist. Cavities cannot heal on their own and, left untreated, will lead to much more significant problems. Severe tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease may ultimately require more advanced treatment, including dental crowns, tooth extraction, implants, bridges, and dentures.
How to Prevent Cavities
The best way to avoid having to get dental fillings is to prevent cavities with good oral hygiene, and good oral hygiene starts at home.
Here are some simple steps you can take (or encourage your child to take) to help prevent cavities:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and flossing
- If possible, use a fluoride-containing toothpaste or mouthwash
- Avoid frequent snacking, especially snacks that are high in sugar or carbohydrates
- Limit sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit juice made from concentrate
- Go to the dentist regularly for routine check-ups and teeth cleanings
- Consider receiving dental sealants
The more you care for your teeth, the less likely you are to experience tooth decay, cavities, and other problems. Of course, not even the most stringent oral hygiene routine can prevent all cavities.
If you do find yourself needing dental fillings in Gonzales or any of the nearby areas, get in touch with Gonzales Dental and learn how we can help! We accept all forms of PPO insurance, as well as Texas Medicaid and CHIPS. We also offer several payment plans for those without traditional dental insurance.
Schedule an appointment with Gonzales Dental today! Call (830) 971-0268 or contact us online.
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"A great and warm dental place that feels like home. He is very experienced and welcoming and does his best to make it a pain-free experience. I would definitely do any dental work for me and the family at Gonzales Dental."
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