Fillings are common with dental patients who suffer from teeth damaged by decay and cavities. Tooth decay is itself caused by harmful bacteria that breeds and causes plaque, which in turn causes the tooth to slowly decay and weaken. Fillings help to combat this decay process by blocking the area where the bacteria have access to the teeth, in this case the cavity. The filler material is placed in the cavity and fills out the area lost to the decay and cavity.
When cavity develops in the tooth, it hollows out the interior of the tooth and causing the enamel to shed off. This leaves the tooth generally weak and unstable, as well as bringing unimaginable pain to the patient. The employment of fillings to the interior of the tooth helps it regain its appearance, while removing any decayed tissue still left in the tooth.
Fillings are made from different kinds of materials, with metals being prevalent. In particular, gold, silver, titanium and chrome are common filler materials, as they are viewed as safe and strong. Gold may be hard to come by, as it is very expensive to produce gold fillings. However, they last for years and fit perfectly into the tooth cavity. Silver fillings are less expensive, but are more noticeable due to their dark hue, especially if placed in areas of the mouth that are visible to others. There are composite fillings used, and these are a combination of different materials that are placed in the cavity and take the shape of your tooth cavity. Composite fillings last for years and are useful for areas where chipping may not occur frequently.
The dentist is the only professional who can safely determine whether you need to have your tooth filled. If they determine so, they give you a choice of the filling to put. The fillings are placed with special instruments, and some discomfort/ pain may be experienced. But this can be mitigated by local anesthesia which should be provided. Most fillings procedures take less than an hour to complete, and will have your natural tooth color so that they can blend in nicely.
After the filling procedure, you may want to take it light on the filling, just so it can settle and harden properly. A day or two afterwards and you are ready to talk and chew without favoring any side, or tooth. Fillings will take on the natural look of your teeth, and may help save your tooth from further decay and damage.