Dental Fillings

Cavity Fillings at Dental Depot
are a Common Procedure

Fillings are a restorative dental treatment used to fill any small holes formed on a tooth due to decay. These small holes or areas of erosion are known as cavities and are quite common. Cavities are generally caused by poor dental hygiene, lifestyle factors, or age; however, some individuals may be genetically predisposed to get them despite their best efforts. No matter the reason, a filling is the only effective way to clear out any decay and restore the tooth so that it may function properly and prevent further damage.

To learn more about fillings, call a Dental Depot nearest you to reserve an appointment.

A girl gets ready for dental xrays at dental depot

Fillings are one of the many dental services offered at Dental Depot. With multiple locations across Oklahoma, Dental Depot offers accessible, high-quality, and affordable dental care for your entire family when and where it’s convenient. Whether you’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, or all points in between, there is a local Dental Depot office near you, fully staffed with dental professionals and boasting state-of-the-art equipment and resources.

How do I know if I need a filling?

Cavities are difficult to detect independently, so patients must maintain a semi-annual cleaning and checkup schedule with their dentist. When left untreated, a cavity may become so severe that infection develops, which can lead to more serious treatment options, including a root canal or extraction (loss of the tooth). With twice annual visits, your dentist will likely detect any cavities in a reasonable time frame, allowing for the least invasive treatment option – a dental filling. 

Your dentist will likely be the person who detects decay in your teeth. Dentists can see things undetectable to the naked eye with specialized tools and instruments. Because most people are unaware they have a cavity, visiting the dentist regularly is critical. However, depending on the severity of the decay, you may exhibit symptoms including sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks, dull but constant ache in a specific area, a dark spot on the tooth, or sharp pain when biting down. 

How is a filling performed?

If your dentist finds a cavity during your checkup, she or he will likely not be able to treat it that same day, and you’ll be scheduled for another appointment later. 

The appointment for your filling generally lasts from twenty minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the cavity and if you have more than one being treated. Here’s what happens during that appointment: 

  1. Numbing. The nerves located within the teeth are highly sensitive and must be anesthetized to prevent severe discomfort. This is done via injection, which can be slightly uncomfortable and feel like a sharp pinch, but the numbing effect sets in rapidly, allowing for immediate comfort.  
  2. Cleaning. The decayed enamel on the tooth must be removed, and any remaining debris cleared. Your dentist will use specialized drills and scraping devices to ensure that the decay is gone. Next, the area will be sterilized with fluoride to prevent bacteria from causing future decay. 
  3. Filling. The materials used to create a filling can vary. Your dentist will discuss these options with you and make a recommendation based on your needs. Whether it is a composite resin, metal amalgam, or porcelain, the material is applied to the sterilized, clean hole in the tooth, essentially filling it in to restore function and durability. The filling will then be cured with a UV light.
  4. Shaping. Once cured, the filling will require smoothing and shaping to ensure it blends naturally with the rest of the tooth and neighboring teeth and that the bite is comfortable. If you feel the top and bottom teeth are not coming together as they should, let your dentist know. More filling material may need to be smoothed away. 

Are there other reasons to get a filling?

Fillings can be an effective treatment for other dental issues, including:

  • Chipped teeth.

    The same materials used to fill in an eroded hole can be used to straighten or smooth the surface of a tooth, improving the function and aesthetic and resulting in a stronger, more confident smile. 
  • Grinding.

    Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can be abrasive and damage the enamel of teeth. If areas of the teeth have been significantly worn down, resulting in weakened or broken enamel, a filling can add support and increase durability.

How do I take care of my filling?

The maintenance required to care for a filling is the same as for your teeth. Teeth must be brushed morning and night for two minutes each (occasionally after particularly sugary meals or drinks), flossed daily, and professionally cleaned twice a year. Good oral hygiene and routine dental visits help ensure your teeth and fillings remain healthy, clean, and strong for years.

Sometimes fillings can break or become loose. If that happens, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to have it replaced. A broken or loose filling leaves the tooth vulnerable to bacteria, infection, and decay, so it’s important to have the filling fixed. 

Dental Fillings in Oklahoma from Dental Depot

Fillings are essential to keeping small cavities from becoming more costly and painful. When combined with regular cleanings and preventative treatments like fluoride and dental sealants, fillings can help protect and preserve the strength and function of your teeth for a lifetime of good oral health.

At Dental Depot, we’re passionate about good dental care and believe all patients should have access to quality services. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the Oklahoma Dental Association, offering free or low-cost dental clinics and resources to patients across the state. We also strive to make our services as affordable as possible to many people as possible, accepting most major insurances, SoonerCare, and CareCredit, and working with every patient to develop payment solutions to fit any budget. 

Dental Depot’s top priority is helping Oklahomans access the care they need to maintain a healthy and confident smile. Call today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference exceptional care can make. 

Family sitting together in dental depot waiting room, smiling and filling out paperwork on tablet

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