Have you found yourself cringing at the thought of visiting the dentist? Do you have a toothache that won’t go away, and you’re sure your tooth may need treatment to help free you of pain, but the idea of going to the dentist seems horrible? Well, we are here to let you know you’re not alone. Having to go to the dentist is dreadful for many, and when you have a toothache, the worst fears of a tooth extraction can fill your mind. However, at Chad Latino DDS in Waco, Texas, we have other solutions known as dental fillings.
Dental fillings are an excellent procedure that can help save a damaged tooth rather than be pulled, especially if it hasn’t reached that moment of a tooth extraction. Dental fillings protect a damaged tooth from further decay and potential tooth loss. However, several questions may come up about dental fillings, so let us go through some things you should know about them and how they can benefit you!
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are materials used to restore damaged and decayed teeth. At our office in Waco, we use tooth-colored, or composite, fillings to restore your smile while giving it a natural look. Fillings can repair cavities, cracks, chips, and other types of damage to teeth. They are also used as a preventative measure to prevent further decay.
Why Might You Need Dental Fillings?
If you have tooth decay, cavities, or cracks in your teeth, Dr. Chad Latino may recommend fillings. Left untreated, decay and cavities can worsen and spread to other teeth, leading to tooth loss. By getting fillings, you can save your teeth from further damage and avoid more invasive procedures like root canals or extractions.
Composite Resin Dental Fillings
Composite resin dental fillings, commonly known as tooth-colored fillings, are famous for restoring decayed or damaged teeth. Crafted from a mixture of plastic and glass particles, they mimic the appearance of natural teeth, making them an aesthetically pleasing choice. Not only do they restore the structure of the tooth, but they also prevent further decay by sealing off any potential spaces where bacteria could infiltrate.
In terms of durability, while not as long-lasting as other fillings, such as amalgam fillings, composite resin fillings can withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing and are perfect for small to mid-size fillings for front or back teeth.
Are Composite Dental Fillings Safe?
Yes, composite resin dental fillings are generally considered safe. Made of a blend of plastic and fine glass particles, they don’t contain mercury, which is a concern for some people with silver amalgam fillings. Furthermore, they bond to the tooth structure chemically, providing further support to the tooth and reducing the chances of breakage or damage due to thermal stress. However, like any medical procedure, there may be risks and potential side effects, including:
- Sensitivity to cold and heat
- The filling wearing out over time
Therefore, discussing your options with Dr. Chad Latino to determine the best course of action for your specific circumstance is always essential.
What Can You Expect During a Dental Filling Procedure?
Numbing and Tooth Preparation
If you and Dr. Chad Latino have discussed and decided a dental filling is proper for you, Dr. Latino will begin the procedure by numbing the site of your broken, chipped, or infected tooth.
Removal of Decay and the Filling
He will then remove the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth and clean the area to prepare it for the filling. Once the site is ready, Dr. Latino will fill the cavity or damaged space with the composite filling material.
After the filling, Dr. Latino will smooth and polish it to ensure it is comfortable and blends in with your natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Taking care of your oral health is crucial for maintaining your overall health. Dental fillings are essential to correct dental issues like cavities and decay. Benefits of dental fillings include:
1. Dental Fillings Prevent Tooth Loss
When cavities and decay go untreated, the damage can become so severe that the tooth cannot be saved, leading to extraction. Having to have a tooth removed is not an end-of-life crisis, but it is something we aim to avoid at all costs. Dental fillings can help prevent tooth loss by treating and eliminating the cavities before the damage becomes severe.
2. Dental Fillings are an Affordable Oral Health Solution
Dental fillings are among the most cost-effective oral health solutions, especially compared to more complex treatments like root canals. Dental fillings are cost-effective because most dental insurance covers dental fillings and are significantly more affordable than other dental procedures. Not to mention that our excellent dentist, Dr. Chad Latino, is efficient and provides quality care no matter the procedure, allowing you to receive care from him rather than being referred to a specialist.
3. Dental Fillings Are Long-Lasting
Dental fillings can last up to 15 years with proper oral hygiene and care. With long-lasting care, dental fillings are an excellent long-term solution for dental issues like cavities and decay. Ensure you are following good oral hygiene practices such as:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. We recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid possible damage to your dental filling.
- Floss between your teeth daily to help eliminate any bacteria that hide between the crevices in your smile.
- Mouthwash is an excellent way to eliminate any remaining bacteria in your mouth and leaves you with fresh-smelling breath, too.
- Schedule your bi-annual dental exams and cleanings with Dr. Chad Latino. Going to your bi-annual dental cleanings and exams will help prevent your smile from receiving restorative care like dental fillings again and can keep your smile healthy.
4. Dental Fillings Protect Against Further Decay and Damage
After a filling is placed, it acts as a protective barrier against further decay and damage. With the filling in place, you reduce your risk of developing future dental problems, saving you time and money in the long run.
5. Dental Fillings Allow You to Eat and Speak Comfortably
Tooth pain and sensitivity caused by decay can significantly impact your ability to eat and speak comfortably. Filling a cavity can help alleviate tooth pain and sensitivity, allowing you to eat and speak easily.
6. Boost Confidence
At Chad Latino DDS, we provide composite dental fillings, allowing your smile to be fixed and look natural. With a natural and restored smile, you can confidently flash your teeth to those around you without feeling embarrassed.
Restoring Your Smile With Dental Fillings in Waco, TX
Dental fillings are an excellent procedure to help restore your smile without removing your natural teeth. At Chad Latino DDS, our outstanding Waco dentist is here to provide high-quality care and comfort, with an ability of thorough efficiency in all procedures, including that of dental fillings. Dental fillings can initially seem intimidating, but they are necessary to help save your smile from further damage and decay. Dr. Chad Latino and his team are here for you every step of the way. Remember, preventing dental fillings is the best option, but if necessary, we provide them to help protect and restore your beautiful smile.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step to restoring your smile and schedule an appointment with Dr. Chad Latino at Chad Latino DDS today!