What are the Benefits of Cavity Fillings?
As well as being used to fill cavities in your teeth, fillings can also be used to repair cracked, worn and broken teeth in dentistry. Whether it’s to assist in warding off decay or to improve your smile, cavity fillings have a large number of benefits. These are some:
- Durability: Fillings are long-lasting solutions that’ll protect your tooth for an extensive period of time.
- Blend in with your teeth: The composite resins used in most fillings today will look almost identical to your natural teeth. Nobody will notice the difference.
- Prevent infection: By cleaning out the decay before the cavity reaches the nerve, you will prevent the nerve from dying and a subsequent infection occurring
- Improved functionality: Dental decay can be extremely painful when you chew. Clearing out the decay and using dental fillings in the cavity remaining will remove this pain and improve the functionality of your teeth.
What Dental Fillings Are Made Of?
There are two main types of filling materials used in dentistry – tooth-coloured composite resin and amalgam (metal). They both have their advantages and disadvantages. A filling material that matches your tooth colour is used at the front of the mouth due to aesthetic concerns. However, as one moves to the back of the mouth, where strength is more important than cosmetics, the conversation of tooth-coloured vs. amalgam (metal) filling becomes a more complicated one.
Dr David Delac, the head dentist at The Dental Family Beaumaris, believes the amalgam (metal) filling still has its place in modern dentistry. There may be situations where an amalgam (metal) filling is a superior option to the modern white filling, whilst there are also situations where the white filling is superior. At the end of the day, the decision for what material is used for you will always be your decision. Dr Delac will always give a recommendation of what is best for you and then you can make your decision.
How Soon Can I Eat and Drink After The Dental Filling Procedure?
How soon you can eat again after a dental filling depends on your individual case. The dentists at our Bayside family dentistry will be able to answer all your questions about eating, but here are some other general tips to follow:
Most of the time you will have needed a local anaesthetic to perform the filling procedure. This means part of your mouth will feel numb once you leave and you can be numb up to four hours later. During this time, it is very important not to drink anything hot or you’ll burn your mouth without realising it. It’s also very important not to eat any food while you are numb. You may bite your tongue, inside of your cheek and/ or lip without realising. If you did burn or bite yourself, you will only be aware of any trauma caused once the anaesthetic wears off and you feel the pain. The only thing you are safe to do while numb is to have a luke warm or cold drink. This won’t hurt, but be aware you don’t have full control of your mouth while numb, so you may spill some of the drink.
Once the local anaesthetic has worn off and your mouth has returned to feeling normal, then you can eat and have a hot drink again.
If you have had a tooth coloured composite resin filling, we will have hardened it immediately using a special UV light. Therefore, it will be ready to be chewed on.
If you have an amalgam (metal) filling, you will need to eat on the other side of your mouth for the next 24 hours to allow the filling to fully harden and gain its full strength. After 24 hours, you can eat back on the side that had the filling.
Your new filling may mean you experience sensitivity to hot, cold or sweet drinks or foods for a few days afterwards as the filling settles in. In some circumstances, if you the cavity was deep and near the nerve, this could take longer.
In some other cases, if the cavity was diagnosed too late and when it has almost reached the nerve , the filling may not resolve your symptoms and the nerve may still die, in which case you will get a toothache. If you get a toothache, you will have 2 options to resolve the pain – you will need to have the nerve removed out of the tooth and have root canal treatment in order to save the tooth OR you will need the tooth extracted. To avoid this unfortunate and painful scenario, that is why we recommend regular check-ups. We have the ability to diagnose any cavities early well before you have any symptoms. By fixing the cavity with a filling when the problem is small, this nasty complication won’t occur.
If you want to learn more about dental fillings The Dental Family Beaumaris can help. Get in touch today and we’ll answer all your questions about how they can improve your overall health.