Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures performed in our Westborough dental office, used to address tooth decay and minor tooth damage.
A dental filling can play an important role in helping you maintain the structure of your natural smile and avoid more complex dental problems. We can place a tooth filling during a single visit using a range of materials to suit your needs. When appropriate, we recommend using composite resin to fill a tooth cavity. Also called a “white filling”, the composite resin is color-matched to your smile and creates a strong seal for the prevention of future decay.
Inlays & Onlays
For tooth cavities that are located in the larger back teeth, an inlay or onlay may be recommended for the best long-term result. Also called a partial crown, this type of restoration is typically made of a ceramic or porcelain material to match your existing teeth.
Dr. Patel will evaluate your dental health needs and discuss your cosmetic goals before recommending the most suitable option for addressing tooth decay.
Replacing Dark Teeth Fillings: Instant Smile Makeover
We can replace old teeth fillings that are dark, easily visible when smiling, or leaking. A new composite white filling can provide an instant smile makeover while also improving your overall dental health.
Once the type of filling has been chosen, we will clean the area and apply a local anesthetic for your comfort. The decay or infection is gently removed and the filling material is sculpted into place.
We will make adjustments to ensure you have a comfortable bite before sealing the filling and polishing for a smooth look and feel.
Causes Of Toothaches
No matter how careful and thorough you are with maintaining your daily oral care, at some point in your life you will probably experience the pain and discomfort of a toothache. Although a cavity is normally the cause, tooth decay is only one of the several triggering factors of tooth pain or discomfort.
If you experience pain when you eat or drink hot or cold food and beverages, it could signal a cavity. It could also be a sign that you have sensitive teeth, either from thinning tooth enamel or receding gums. These are common side effects of aging, lifestyle habits or can be caused by other health concerns. Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth as this may help ease the symptoms.
If the pain of your toothache is sudden, sharp and stabbing, the cause may be related to a cavity or cracked tooth. However, if you experience a throbbing, constant pain when you bite down on your food, you may have an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be taken care of right away.
Might Not Even Be Your Teeth
A less common cause of tooth pain is a sinus infection. If you have pain in the upper teeth on both sides of the jaw, a sinus infection could be the cause. This type of toothache is usually combined with nasal congestion and tenderness around the eyes, forehead, and sinuses.
If your ache is more identifiable as jaw pain, it may be caused by a Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Bite problems like TMJ can be triggered by malocclusion, a jaw injury, arthritis, or tooth grinding. Wisdom teeth that have not been removed could also cause jaw pain and toothaches.
Preventing Tooth Decay and Pain
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent a toothache and other common oral health concerns. To reduce your risk for developing decay, gum disease or other common causes of a toothache be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit the dentist regularly.
Dental Fillings FAQ
Do I need an inlay or a dental filling?
Your dentist will recommend an inlay if your tooth cavity is too large for a dental filling. The process to have an inlay placed will require two visits. At the first visit, the tooth will be prepared by removing all the decay and old filling. At the next visit, the custom-made inlay will be placed. A dental filling can be completed in one visit.
How long will my tooth filling last?
A filling can last upwards of 20 years if it is cared for properly. It also will depend on where it is located. A filling is very durable but is also susceptible to damage. This includes everyday wear and tear and trauma. The best thing you can do to extend the life of your filling is to maintain proper daily oral hygiene and visit your dentist twice a year.
How do I know if my tooth filling needs replaced?
Knowing when to replace your filling can be obvious. But you also may not know it needs to be replaced until your dentist tells you. If your filling falls out of your mouth, you will know to schedule an appointment to have it replaced. At your regular, biannual checkups your dentist may discover that your fillings have cracked, has a leak, or is simply worn out from everyday wear and tear. In these cases, your dentist will recommend it be removed and a new filling placed.