Sooner or later almost everyone gets a cavity. It is usually a simple fix. Your dentist removes the decay and “fills” in the space that remains. Cavities were almost always filled with amalgam silver or gold during the past 100 years or so.
These were effective but not very attractive filling materials. Now filling procedures are performed by our doctor for patients in our region with a choice of materials to fill your cavities that are more attractive and won’t darken over time.
Your dental filling consultation
During your initial consultation our doctor will discuss your particular condition, your expectations and the probable outcome of your treatment. You may be shown several before and after treatment photographs of patients having similar conditions, and you will receive an explanation of your treatment.
Before and after photographs may be taken of the area to be treated to document your results.
Liquid mercury and silver are combined to other metals such as copper, tin and zinc to make amalgam fillings. For years there have been concerns over mercury as a health hazard. To date, FDA studies have not shown any hazard from the small amounts of mercury in metal fillings.
Composite resin fillings
Modern dentistry utilizes composite resin fillings as an effective, aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal fillings. These fillings are colored to match your existing teeth. They are strong, durable and natural looking. Composite resin fillings are also used to replace older, less attractive metal fillings.
Who are the best candidates for composite resin fillings?
If you have a cavity in a tooth, cracked or damaged fillings, or unattractive, dark metal fillings that detract from your smile, you may want to discuss composite resin fillings with our dentist. The best candidates for composite resin fillings are in good general health and have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Are composite resins used for other repairs?
Yes. We use composite resins in several other smile enhancement procedures. We use them to enhance the appearance of any tooth in a bonding procedure. This strengthens and protects the tooth.
How long do composite resin fillings last?
With proper oral hygiene, resin fillings will last from 7 – 12 years. Once your filling is completed, the tooth will have a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive used to bond the resin to the tooth.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are used when the repair requires more than a filling but does not quite require a full crown. We use them in cases where the majority of the biting surface of your molar is in decay. They can be made from gold, or a composite resin colored to match your tooth. Inlays and onlays are cemented to the tooth.
What is a composite resin filling procedure like?
Our dentist performs your filling procedure in our office using a local anesthetic. Our dentist then removes the decayed portion of your tooth. With a resin filling, our dentist does not have to remove as much tooth so there is less drilling than with a metal filling. A special liner will protect the nerve and then the resin will be applied in thin layers. Each layer is treated with a special light which hardens the resin.
Once the filling is built with sufficient layers, our dentist will then adjust the height of your filling to accommodate your bite and polish your filling. An additional benefit to resin fillings following the procedure is that there is much less sensitivity to hot and cold than with a metal filling.