There are a variety of filling materials and techniques available. Generally they can be divided into ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ fillings. Direct fillings include silver-mercury amalgam and its tooth colored counterpart ‘composite’. Direct fillings are placed in a single visit which makes them initially inexpensive; however, over a long period of time they become quite costly because they last only an average of nine years. Indirect fillings are made from more durable materials such as gold or porcelain which require two visits and a laboratory technician which makes the initial cost more; however over a lifetime they become quite inexpensive because when properly cared for, they will last a lifetime. When you need a filling, trust Dr. Nealis to provide expert restorative dental care. Residents of the Chicagoland area can visit Dr. Nealis for tooth-colored fillings that offer a more aesthetically pleasing result. Dr. Nealis offers filling to patients in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, IL, and sees patients from surrounding areas such as The Loop, Gold Coast, Near North Side, River West, River North, Magnificent Mile, Ukranian Village, Uptown, Bucktown, and Old Town, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and West Town.
Why would a person need fillings?
When the bacteria that live in a patient’s mouth combine with starches and sugars from the foods he or she eats, acid is created. The resulting acid sticks to the teeth and forms plaque. If the plaque isn’t thoroughly removed on a regular basis, it will deteriorate the tooth enamel and create a permanent hole in the tooth. The hole is called a cavity. To prevent further tooth damage, Dr. Nealis will repair the cavity with a filling.
How are fillings done?
Dr. Nealis will first will numb the tooth and surrounding area with an anesthetic drug. Then, he will use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Last, he will use a material to fill the hole. Depending on where the cavity is located and its size, Dr. Nealis will either use a tooth-colored composite filling or a gray metal amalgam. Gold is sometimes used to fill teeth but is declining in popularity.
Do fillings ever need to be replaced?
Yes, fillings will occasionally dislodge from teeth. Certain foods or injuries to the teeth can dislodge fillings. Dr. Nealis can easily replace the lost filling using the same procedure that was performed initially. If a patient loses a filling he or she should be certain to have the filling replaced quickly to avoid further damage to the tooth.
Can cavities be prevented?
Cavities and the need for fillings are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental check ups. Patients should also brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, and floss at least once a day. The following suggestions are also important to cavity prevention:
- Limit snacks to reduce acid buildup on the teeth.
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Eat sugary sweets like candy and ice cream sparingly.
- Limit intake of fruit juice, soda and other high-sugar drinks.
- Do not eat after brushing your teeth at night. Since saliva flow decreases while you’re sleeping, your teeth are more vulnerable to acid during the overnight hours.