Dental fillings help strengthen and restore teeth affected by infection or decay. Several types of fillings are available. Each type is durable and could potentially last for many years. However, fillings can be damaged. If that happens, a dentist can determine the best method for fixing it. Dr. Edwin Yee, the experienced dentist at our office in Pensacola, FL, can repair or replace cracked, broken, or loose fillings.
Types of Dental Fillings
Several types of filling materials exist for treating cavities and other oral health issues. Silver-colored amalgam fillings have been a popular choice for many years. Amalgam fillings are composed of a blend of metals, including silver, copper, and tin, as well as mercury which binds all the metals together. Cast gold is another type of metal filling that can be used to treat teeth with cavities. Amalgam fillings are the less expensive option, but they do require more drilling and undercuts than other types of dental fillings, which means more tooth structure is lost.
Tooth-colored or white fillings are becoming an increasingly popular choice for treating cavities since they blend in with the surrounding tooth. Once the filling material is dry, it just looks like part of the natural tooth. Tooth-colored dental fillings can be made from various materials, including porcelain, glass ionomer, and a composite mixture of glass and plastic. Composite fillings are commonly used because the material readily bonds with the natural tooth so less drilling is needed to place them, which means more healthy tooth structure can be spared.
Signs a Filling is Damaged
Fillings can last for many years with proper care. However, chewing on ice or biting into hard candies and foods can potentially crack or damage a filling. Habits such as chewing on the end of a pen or pencil can also crack a dental filling. Another way fillings can be damaged is due to an injury, such as sustaining a blow to the mouth while playing sports. Fillings can also just wear down over time and become more susceptible to damage.
Some signs that you have a cracked or damaged filling include:
- Experiencing sudden pain when biting into food
- Sudden sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Feeling a hard object in your mouth after biting into food
- Feeling a crack or hole in your tooth when running your tongue over it
- Hearing a cracking sound when biting into or chewing food
Repairing a Cracked Filling
If you have a cracked filling, the skilled dentist at our office in Pensacola, FL, can determine the best way to fix it. In some cases, it is best to simply remove the damaged filling and replace it with a brand new one. Another option is to place a crown over the affected tooth, which will prevent further damage to the tooth or filling. If the damage is minimal, it might be possible to repair the cracked filling without completely replacing it. The dentist can identify and recommend the best course of treatment.
If you think you might have cracked a filling, see the dentist right away. A damaged filling can leave your tooth more vulnerable to decay and other oral health issues. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Yee, our exceptional dentist, call our office in Pensacola, FL, at (850) 479-3355.