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San Antonio, TX 78253
A filling is placed in a tooth, to replace the portion of the tooth that is missing or decayed. The decayed area needs to be removed by the dentist, then restored with the filling material. A tooth may need a filling if part of it has chipped off or broken (e.g., after biting on popcorn) or trauma. Sometimes fillings are placed on teeth to help to replace wear or erosion. Fillings work best when they are small or medium-sized, so there is plenty of good tooth structure to support it. If there is large decay or a crack in the tooth, a crown (or "cap") may be needed. If it has already reached the nerve of the tooth, then pulp capping the tooth or root canal treatment may be needed.
There are many types of filling materials. Composite resin materials are the closest to match your natural tooth color. Fillings are normally placed in one appointment. The tooth is shaped so that it can be prepared for the filling(s). A filling can last for a long time with good eating habits, brushing and flossing and with regular dental visits. They will need to be replaced over time depending on these factors.
Bonding refers to the use of adhesive resin composite to match the filling material to the adjacent teeth with the use of a curing light. This is typically associated with changing the shape and position of the teeth or for cosmetic reasons.
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