Dental Filling Tulsa, OK

If you have a cavity, you likely need a filling. Cavities are holes in the teeth created by harmful bacteria that break down your tooth enamel. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can build on the teeth and gums. Left untreated, it hardens to form tartar or calculus. A dental filling in our Tulsa, OK, office can help preserve your tooth. 

Fillings are a general dental treatment that help repair and restore teeth damaged by decay. While traditional fillings use metal materials, we recommend white fillings for a natural look. At Hope Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide same-day fillings to help restore comfort and function to your tooth.

Dental Filling in Tulsa OK

Signs You Need a Dental Filling in Tulsa, OK

In most cases, you will need a filling if you have a tooth cavity. Common signs you need a filling can include: 

  • Holes or pits in teeth (cavity)
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Dark spots on teeth
  • Rough or uneven teeth

Contact our office as soon as you notice a change in the comfort or appearance of your teeth. Early prevention is essential. When you get preventive care early on, you can prevent dental problems from worsening over time.

What Happens if You Don’t Treat a Cavity?

As cavities grow, they eventually reach the nerves inside the tooth. This can cause intense pain and discomfort, as well as potential infection. Without treatment, the cavity can also spread to other teeth. This leads to multiple cavities and even the potential for tooth loss.

Tooth abscesses can also occur. A dental abscess is a pocket of pus that can form outside the tooth. Typically, they form in the tooth roots or between the tooth and gums. In addition, untreated cavities can lead to gum disease, which can cause further damage to your teeth and overall oral health.

A tooth infection can easily spread throughout your body. Tooth and gum infections are linked to problems like heart disease and diabetes. Inflammation can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart. 

For these reasons, we recommend that you contact our office as soon as you notice changes in your teeth or gums. 

Benefits of Tooth Fillings

Fillings offer many benefits if you have damaged teeth. Dental fillings:

  • Restore and Preserve the Tooth: Dental fillings restore the structural integrity of teeth weakened by decay or trauma, preventing further damage and potential tooth loss. Compared to more invasive treatments like dental crowns or implants, fillings require minimal removal of healthy tooth structure. They preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible.
  • Improve Function: Fillings improve chewing ability and speech because they fill cavities and restore damaged teeth. You can eat and speak without pain after you get your new fillings. 
  • Enhance Tooth Appearance: Tooth-colored fillings such as composite and ceramic fillings blend seamlessly with natural teeth. They can provide a confidence boost.
  • Offer Durability: Fillings can withstand biting and chewing forces. They are a great option for the back teeth and molars, which are under heavy chewing pressure. Even white fillings, depending on the material type, can fill cavities in the molars.

Metal vs. White Fillings

Traditional fillings use metal materials. Also known as amalgam fillings or silver fillings, they can use silver, mercury, tin, and copper. While they are durable and a good option for the molars, they are highly noticeable. 

White fillings use ceramic or composite materials. The cost of dental fillings depends on the materials and the number of fillings needed. Metal fillings are often cheaper than other options, but they have downsides. 

We recommend composite fillings over metal fillings for multiple reasons. First, metal fillings can increase tooth sensitivity. Metal fillings are also noticeable, even if they cover the molars.

Metal fillings also contain trace amounts of mercury. If you have an old, damaged metal filling, you need a dental professional to carefully remove it without the risk of inhalation. White fillings use safe materials often used for other treatments like crowns, inlays, and onlays.

Dental Filling in Tulsa, OK

Before your filling, our dentist will take X-rays to assess the extent of your tooth decay. If you have a cavity that we can treat with a filling, we will begin the treatment process.

To begin the process, Dr. Cha will numb your treated tooth with local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Then, he will remove the decayed portion of your tooh. He will shape your tooth to create space for the filling. Once he prepares your tooth, Dr. Cha will place the filling material in layers. Then, he hardens the material with a light. 

After the filling material has hardened, Dr. Cha will shape and polish the tooth to ensure a comfortable bite and a natural appearance. Finally, he checks and adjusts the filling as necessary to ensure proper fit and function.

Do I Need a Dental Crown?

We may recommend a dental crown if you have a large filling or a weakened tooth. In some cases, you may have a weakened tooth because of decay or damage. Our office can create a tooth-colored crown that will match the color of your natural teeth. A crown is a cap that will fully cover your tooth. The crown will help add structure to your tooth and protect it from further infection or damage. 

Aftercare

Take care of dental fillings to ensure that they last a long time. Good oral hygiene practices can help prevent decay from forming around the edges of the filling. Brush and floss your fillings just like your natural teeth. Floss before you brush to remove leftover food from between your teeth. Then, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

Visit our dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. We will examine your fillings to ensure they fit properly.

In some cases, you may need to replace your dental fillings. You can also get your fillings repaired if they become loose, cracked, or worn down over time. This can happen because of normal wear and tear from chewing or grinding your teeth.

Save Your Teeth

Treat your tooth cavity today to prevent the need for a tooth extraction. Call for a dental filling in Tulsa, OK, at 918-347-1114. You can also schedule an appointment with Dr. Cha online.

If you have questions about how to treat your cavity, let us know at your next visit. We’re here to help you.