Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Dental Fillings

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Having questions when choosing a dentist is natural! After all, your oral health is an important part of your overall health. Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive. If you do not see yours listed below, please give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dental Fillings

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world. Though cavities are far too common among children and adults alike, they can be prevented and easily treated with restorative dental care in Gretna. At NOLA Dentures and General Dentistry, we provide comprehensive restorative treatments, including durable, high-quality dental fillings. 

Dental Fillings: What They Are and Why We Need Them 

Made from strong tooth-colored material or amalgam silver, dental fillings protect your teeth from further decay. Cavities form from bacteria and plaque in the mouth, and they can lead to the destruction of your tooth’s structure.

Cavities often cause pain and sensitivity, and they often appear as dark spots on the tooth. If you have a cavity, a dental filling can save your tooth and protect it from severe decay or infection. 

The Dental Filling Process 

During a dental exam in Gretna, your dentist will check your teeth for signs of decay. Cavities often show up as brown spots on the tooth and can cause dental pain or sensitivity. Unfortunately, cavities often go unnoticed until they have already formed, increasing the risk of spread. 

If the dentist identifies a cavity, he or she will anesthetize the tooth, so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment. He will then gently and thoroughly remove all of the bacteria in and around the tooth. Finally, he will fill and seal the tooth with a tooth-colored or amalgam dental filling.

Cavities Are Preventable with Consistent Dental Care

Tooth decay is 100 percent preventable if you remain proactive in your oral health care. You can avoid the pain and discomfort of cavities if you practice good dental hygiene and regularly visit your dentist. Flossing daily and brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily helps remove cavity-causing bacteria from in and around your teeth. 

It’s also important you visit your dentist every six months to receive professional dental care. Regular dental exams, cleanings, and digital x-rays allow us to monitor your oral health and catch any issues like cavities early. We can also treat decay early before you need restorative treatment. 

Have a Cavity? We Can Help! 

We provide excellent service to all patients in a friendly, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment. If you suspect you have a cavity and need treatment, please call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled restorative dentists.

We look forward to helping you get your dental health back on track!

Couple smiling | Dentist Gretna LA The most common reason to replace a silver filling is that the tooth develops another cavity or if the tooth has chipped or cracked. Usually, a cavity will show up on a visual exam or on an x-ray and can be fixed quickly before the damage spreads. In cases of chips and cracks, these may show up before as small crack lines in a tooth and whether the tooth needs to be repaired is determined on a case by case basis.

Why Replace a Silver Filling?

Another common reason to replace silver fillings is due to the look of the silver filling. While this is a fine reason, Dr. Schafer encourages each of his patients to decide if the silver filling is easy to see or if only the dentist, you, and your significant other can see it. Often silver fillings are placed on the back teeth or molars where it is difficult to see in a conversation. If the silver filling does show in your smile, it is a great reason to have it replaced with a white filling. However, replacing silver fillings with white fillings can cause prolonged sensitivity or the possible need for a further treatment if the tooth's nerve is damaged. Whenever a tooth has surgical treatment done to it like a filling, the tooth is damaged and may take some time to heal up properly.

The third common reason is fear of the toxicity of silver fillings. The media such as Dr. Oz have made much money fear mongering and convincing many people to have all their sturdy silver fillings replaced out of fear of any number of illness. Dr. Schafer does not believe that there is any substantiated link between amalgam fillings and health problems.  While Dr. Schafer will remove and replace silver fillings for cosmetic purposes, he highly discourages replacing them due to fear. Replacing white fillings in a person's mouth not only costs money the first time it is done but as most white fillings do not last as long as silver fillings, they are more expensive to maintain as they need to be replaced more often.

If you are concerned about your silver fillings, please call us today and Dr. Schafer and his team will be happy to discuss your options.

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