Dental Fillings in Evanston – Stephens Dentistry
We’ve all heard the old adage telling us that the only two things in life that are inevitable are death and taxes. To those two we should probably add a third: dental fillings. According to data collected by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of adults have cavities in their permanent teeth, meaning that the vast majority of adult Americans have gotten dental fillings needed to preserve their teeth.
At Stephens Dentistry we practice minimally invasive dentistry, and we stress that proper dental hygiene – daily brushing and flossing – is the best means of achieving optimal dental health. We also strongly recommend twice-yearly dental appointments for the cleaning and examination of your teeth and gums.
Despite these efforts, as the figures we’ve cited indicate, the vast majority of us will develop cavities, and dental fillings are the best way to fix and preserve teeth damaged by decay or disease.
We invite you to read on as we answer some commonly asked questions about cavities and fillings.
Tooth decay can cause several things including:
- Pain in a tooth that may increase as you bite and chew
- Sensitivity to things like sweet, hot, or cold foods and beverages
- Pits or holes in your teeth
- Black, brown, or white spots on your teeth
These symptoms often don’t appear until the decay is well advanced, but cavities in the early stages of development can be seen by your dentist during your regular checkups. Finding and treating cavities when they’re small reduces the damage to a tooth, while also decreasing the chances it will need additional treatment in the future.
Getting a filling is a relatively painless process as your dentist will first numb the area to be treated to make sure you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. After removing the decayed portion of the tooth, they’ll clean the tooth to remove bacteria and debris and then add the filling material. The time required varies, but most fillings can be completed in 20 minutes to an hour.
There are four different types of materials used for both functionality purposes and to give you a beautiful smile that is aesthetically pleasing look. These types of fillings include
- Silver amalgam fillings
- Glass ionomer fillings
- Ceramic fillings
- Composite fillings
Dental fillings are usually an amalgam (a silver-based composite) or tooth-colored composite resins. Dental amalgams have been in use for approximately 150 years, but at Stephens Dentistry we really prefer composite resins to fix a decayed tooth. These are just as durable as a silver amalgam filling. With proper care, these fillings can also be resistant to staining and endure less wear and tear than you might think.
It’s normal to feel a bit of tenderness in the tooth and surrounding gum area after the procedure, but this should go away in a day or two.
With proper care, composite fillings can last up to 15 years. However, over time the pressure created by daily biting and chewing can cause fillings to crack or become loose. That is one of the reasons why regular dental examinations are important. Your dentist can detect and correct problems with a filling during the early stages of wear and damage.
Your Dentist for Fillings in Evanston
Are you dealing with any of the symptoms we’ve described indicating you may need a filling? Is there an existing filling that’s starting to give you problems? In either case, we hope you’ll contact Stephens Dentistry to schedule an appointment.
And remember, at Stephens Dentistry we use only the highest quality materials to produce the best and most natural feeling restorations available in dentistry today. If you have any questions about paying for your fillings, please do not hesitate to contact our office.