Dental Fillings in Kitchener, ON
Our Kitchener Dentist uses dental fillings to restore voids left after removal of tooth decay. Tooth decay, “dental caries” or formation of “a cavity” are all terms for a process by which bacteria digest sugar residues in the mouth, producing by-product acids that soften your enamel. If your Kitchener Dentist detects the cavity early on, treatment will involve removal of decay affecting only a small portion of your tooth. Then, the Dentist repairs the area with a dental filling.
In advanced cases, large cavities or holes may be present and will require large or deep fillings. In cases of deep decay close to the nerve space, root canal therapy may be necessary in conjunction with placement of a dental filling.
How do I detect dental decay? How do I know if I have a cavity?
Unfortunately, most cases of dental decay do not produce discernible pain, sensitivity or other symptoms. In fact, most cases of deep decay go unnoticed by patients because of a lack of symptoms. Tooth decay can be orange, brown, black or purple in appearance. Importantly, the presence of a distinguishable colour change must be accompanied by a detectable softening of the tooth structure or change in consistency. Sometimes, where symptoms are present, dental decay may manifest as an increase in sensitivity to sweet or cold stimuli. If you notice a colour change on a surface of your tooth or experience a localized increase in tooth sensitivity, it is best to have it assessed by us.
Even if no decay is present, there is the value to having that knowledge and the piece-of-mind in knowing that your teeth are healthy. Dr. Hornby will check your teeth at recall or “check-up” appointments and at cleanings. If decay is present, we will often take a photograph to review with you. From there, you can book an appointment during a time convenient to you so that we can treat and restore your tooth/teeth.
What is involved in having a dental filling placed?
Step-by-step placement of a Composite Filling.
At your dental filling appointment, Dr. Hornby will review the procedure thoroughly with you. He will share with you any relevant x-rays and intra-oral photos that demonstrate dental decay. Our aim is to be as transparent with you as we can be. The majority of patients opt for and receive local anesthetic to “numb” their teeth during treatment. Topical anesthetic or “numbing gel” is held in contact with the gums for 30-60 seconds.
Local anesthetic will then be administered at a site directly adjacent to the affected tooth. Full anesthesia is typically achieved following a 5-10 minute wait. Dental decay will be removed using a special abrasive bur that is powered by a dental handpiece. Once our Dentist removes all tooth decay, they will apply ingredients to sterilize your tooth and allow bonding of a dental filling. The tooth-coloured filling material will be properly adapted and contoured to seal the void left by cavity preparation and provide you with what looks and feels like real tooth structure! The dental filling will be light-cured and hardened using a blue light. The final steps involve shaping and fine polishing of your dental filling. Dr. Hornby will ensure that your bite is comfortable and then take a post-operative photograph to show you your smooth and glossy new dental filling.
Dental Fillings Kitchener: What is a Dental Filling Made Of?
Dental fillings are generally of 2 kinds. The first kind is an amalgam filling and these were the most common filling type 25-30 years ago. Although scientifically proven to be safe, individual concerns about mercury in amalgam fillings has lead to a decline in use. Nowadays, most fillings contain white composite resin. Patients prefer the appearance of these fillings as the Dentist can precisely match your tooth colour.
At Enamel Republic, we practice amalgam-free, mercury-free Dentistry.
Dental Fillings Kitchener: Do Fillings Hurt?
No. Placement of dental fillings should not hurt. Our Dentist uses local anesthetic or “dental freezing” so that you don’t feel anything during treatment. Post-operatively (see below), patients may experience short-lived temperature or biting sensitivity for 1-2 weeks following placement of dental fillings. The sensitivity gradually subsides over this post-operative period and is indicative of healing in your tooth’s nerve. If you are experiencing post-operative sensitivity beyond 1-2 weeks, or if you are experiencing outright pain, call your Kitchener Family Dentist to notify them.
Dental Filling After Care
Post-operatively, Dr. Kyle will recommend to avoid eating and drinking for 1-2 hours. This ensures that you do not inadvertently bite or chew your lip or cheek and sustain a painful soft tissue injury. You may also experience intermittent pressure- or cold-induced sensitivity for a period of 1-2 weeks following placement of your dental filling(s). The amount of time taken for this sensitivity to subside will typically depend upon the depth of the repaired decay or its proximity to the dental pulp or “nerve”. If you are not sure whether or not the symptoms you are experiencing are normal, call your Kitchener Dentist to let them know.
Dental Filling Cost
So, how much does a dental filling cost? Dental filling costs vary. The two factors determining cost are the type of tooth receiving treatment (i.e. incisor, canine, premolar, molar) and the number of surfaces or walls to repair. Some cavities exist only on a tooth’s biting/chewing surface. This is a one-surface filling. Sometimes a patient fractures a side-wall including the chewing surface. So, this would be a two-surface filling.
Based on those two pieces of information, you then refer to a fixed price code in the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide. Generally, most fillings fall within a $150 – $400 range. We recommend you consult your Dentist in Kitchener-Waterloo for a cost estimate on treatment.