Restore Decayed Teeth
Festus Dental Fillings
If you have a decayed tooth in Festus or Columbia, Dr. Nathan Williamson is here to help. At Williamson Dental, we can restore your smile and your bite with a tooth-colored dental filling. Learn more about the benefits of fillings below, or contact our office in Festus or Columbia if you’d like to schedule a consultation at our office.
- Minimize pain & discomfort – A cavity can cause sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, as well as pain and discomfort while you chew. With a filling from Dr. Nathan Williamson, you can get the relief you need.
- Natural smile & bite restoration – We prefer composite fillings at our office, which are made of a special dental resin that looks and feels just like a part of your natural tooth. You won’t have to worry about silver metal restorations affecting the appearance of your smile.
- Prevent further complications – Getting a filling stops decay in its tracks, and prevents further complications, such as a tooth infection that may require treatment with root canal therapy.
Understanding The Basics
Do I need a filling?
You only need a filling if you have a cavity. Cavities are not always easy to recognize, since they can affect your tooth without causing you any pain or discomfort. This is one of the reasons that it’s important to see Dr. Williamson every six months for a checkup. He can check for signs of cavities that you may not even notice.
However, there are a few signs you can look out for that may indicate the presence of a deeper cavity. If you notice that your tooth aches or is sensitive when you consume hot or cold foods/beverages, a cavity may be the culprit.
In addition, you may be able to visually identify larger cavities. Look for pits, holes, or dark black or brown stains around your tooth. If you notice these issues, you most likely have a cavity and should see Dr. Williamson right away.
What to Expect
How long do fillings last?
Fillings can last anywhere from 10-20 years, or even longer depending on how well you care for them. This makes them one of the best long-term ways to restore your smile. You can chew, speak, and smile for years to come, without worrying about your filling failing.
Note, however, that older fillings may come loose and be pulled out, particularly if you are chewing very sticky foods like taffy, caramel, or gummy candies. If this happens, simply come into Williamson Dental to have the filling replaced by Dr. Williamson.
How do I take care of my filling?
You do not need to do anything special to take care of your new filling. You can treat it just like a natural part of your smile. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day to keep your teeth strong and bright. You should also see Dr. Williamson for a teeth cleaning and a checkup every six months to make sure your smile is healthy.
What To Expect From Treatment
Do Fillings Hurt?
No. Your mouth will be numb during the filling treatment process, so you won’t feel anything while your tooth is prepared for your filling. We also have sedation options available to help you feel more comfortable while Dr. Nathan Williamson restores your tooth.
Pain is not very common after your filling treatment, either. Most people will not feel any discomfort or pain, and can get back to their day-to-day routines right away. However, some people may feel intermittent sensitivity for 2-4 weeks. This is normal.
However, if you experience sensitivity for longer than this or you are feeling any tooth pain, you should schedule a follow-up with Dr. Williamson at our Festus or Columbia office. This usually happens if a filling is too “high” and is interfering with your bite. In turn, this can cause pain or discomfort. Dr. Williamson can trim down the filling further to resolve the issue.
Composite fillings are made of a blend of special dental resin and glass particles. They are the most popular and widely-used type of filling. Primarily, this is because of the appearance of composite fillings.
Composite material comes in a variety of shades and colors to match your teeth perfectly, and it looks very similar to enamel. This means they provide excellent cosmetic results. Nobody will be able to tell that you’ve had one or more of your teeth filled.
They also bond strongly to your enamel, and are relatively durable. Composite fillings usually last somewhere between 5-8 years, and can last up to 10 or longer with good oral hygiene. This makes them a good overall choice for filling decayed teeth.
Amalgam fillings have been used for a very long time. They consist of a blend of metals, usually including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Despite containing mercury, a toxic element, the composition of metal-amalgam fillings means they’re completely safe to use.
In fact, mercury is essential, since it’s liquid at room temperature. This blend of metals results in a very durable, yet pliable filling that can be applied to the tooth easily, and hardens quickly into a very strong surface.
The biggest benefit of amalgam fillings is their longer lifespan compared to composite fillings. They usually last 10-15 years. They also generally cost less than resin composite fillings, which may be something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
Amalgam fillings also are very durable and ideal for restoring rear teeth at Williamson Dental. This is because they are less brittle than composite fillings, so they can hold up to high chewing forces more effectively.
The other reason that we primarily recommend amalgam fillings for rear teeth is that they have an unnatural, silver appearance. They will not blend in with your tooth, and can even make it look a little bit grayish and discolored.
However, this is only a problem with front teeth. Most people won’t see your rear teeth when you smile or laugh, so metal amalgam fillings are perfectly appropriate for filling molars and premolars. For professional dental fillings in Festus, MO or Columbia, IL contact Williamson Dental today!