Getting a dental filling or dental crown is often necessary to maintain oral hygiene. Whether you are told you require a filling during a regular checkup or if you haven’t visited a dentist in years and require a crown, understanding the steps for each procedure and the materials involved can help to put your mind at ease before scheduling an upcoming appointment.
Dental Filling Procedure
Numbing the area is necessary prior to filling any cavity, regardless of its size. A dentist will often place a numbing substance surrounding the area of the gums where the injection will take place. The numbing shot is quick and helps to keep patients from feeling any pain or discomfort during the filling process itself.
Dentists often provide rubber dams or bite blocks to patients during filling procedures depending on the location of the filling and the severity of the procedure. Rubber dams include material that helps to catch tooth debris, potential bacteria and additional saliva that falls to the back of the mouth and throat during the filling procedure. Using a bite block is often recommended for patients that require their mouths and jaws to be propped open without the use of their own jaw muscles, allowing them to relax.
A high-speed hand piece is used first to help with spraying water to clean the tooth and surrounding area near the tooth that requires a filling. Afterwards, a high or low-volume suction is used to remove debris and remaining water in the mouth once the dentist has completed the initial cleaning.
Finally, the dentist will use hand tools made of metal to help clear remaining areas necessary where the filling materials will be placed and set.
Dental Filling Materials
Amalgam fillings (silver fillings) have been used in dentistry for more than 180 years with a mixture of mercury and other various metals. Although mercury in itself is known to be toxic, the material used with Amalgam fillings allows the filling to help assist the tooth to form back to its natural shape and formation without exposing the mouth or tooth itself to mercury. Amalgam fillings are stronger than composite fillings, therefore they are recommended for back teeth which are used more for chewing and require additional strength. Amalgam fillings are known to last longer than composite fillings, although some individuals prefer composite fillings due to the lack of mercury and other metals.
Composite resin fillings look similar to modeling clay and form to blend with the natural appearance of the teeth once applied. Composite fillings are newer are do not contain metals or any form of mercury. They are also less noticeable than traditional amalgam fillings, which are often silver and shiny even after years of having the procedure. Composite fillings are known to be more pricey than amalgam fillings, with amalgam fillings averaging at $88 per filling and composite fillings averaging around $135 for each procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are materials that are placed over a damaged tooth, appearing as a new tooth altogether. Unlike dentures and removable caps, dental crowns are cemented permanently within the mouth. Dental crowns are also referred to as “caps” and “porcelain jackets” in dental terminology and within general conversation.
Why Are Crowns Necessary for Some Patients?
Although dental fillings are one of the most popular procedures known in a dentist office, crowns are necessary for patients that have more severe damage or extensive decay to their teeth. Crowns are often needed for patients who have worn or broken teeth that require more than a simple filling to repair.
Popular Dental Crown Materials
The most popular dental crown materials include porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloy.
How Much Does a Dental Crown Cost?
Dental crowns help patients to keep their teeth intact while avoiding an entire root canal, which is often a much more intense procedure. Crowns are also ideal for cosmetic purposes, not requiring the removal of a tooth to fully repair prior damage. The cost will vary depending on the difficulty of the crown, and your insurance.
Properly Caring for Your Crowns and Teeth After a Procedure
After a crown procedure, brushing twice a day in addition to using fluoride is essential to keep your mouth and teeth healthy while healing. Additionally, keep in mind a healthy diet is also advisable. Drink plenty of water and steer clear of sugary sodas and foods to keep your teeth in the best condition possible.
When seeking a gentle dentist who understands the importance of caring for patients during any filling or crown procedure, consider Village Dental in Holladay, Utah. Our professional staff not only provides the best dental care, but also an atmosphere that is comfortable and welcoming for all of our patients. For more information on our services and how to schedule your appointment today, visit http://www.village-dental.com/.