Fillings are restorative treatments used to treat cavities or build up the tooth when it’s been damaged from injury, dental trauma, or enamel erosion. The use of metal or plastic is used to repair the tooth’s structure, providing strength and durability to restore the tooth’s functionality.
Silver amalgam fillings are not recommended for women that are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dr. Barton will conduct an oral exam to look for signs of decay and determine if a filling is the right treatment for your tooth.
When a filling is needed to treat a cavity, we will remove any remaining decay from the tooth with a dental drill or burr. This is done under anesthetic.
A shade guide is used to match the composite resin filling material to the shade of your natural teeth, blending it seamlessly into your smile.
The surface of the tooth will be roughened and a conditioning liquid will be applied to help the adhesive stick.
Composite resin is applied in layers to the tooth.
When the resin is exposed to UV light, the filling will instantly harden.
Composite fillings are fillings made of a plastic material called composite resin. These fillings don’t disturb the cosmetic harmony of your smile because they are tooth-colored, which is why they have become the new gold standard in dentistry.
Composite fillings are biocompatible and mercury-free, which enables us to drill less and preserve more of the natural tooth before filling. Traditional silver amalgam fillings would also take up to 24 hours to harden but composite fillings instantly harden under UV light, enabling you to eat right after the procedure, once the anesthetic wears off.
Composite fillings are suitable for patients with metal allergies.
No, fillings are completely painless. We apply a numbing gel to your gums before injecting your mouth with a local anesthetic that numbs the entire area and prevents pain sensation. If you would prefer the use of additional sedation to help you relax, that is also available.
The most you will feel is a little movement or pressure around the tooth, but no pain. Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some slight tenderness or sensitivity around the tooth but this should be minor and subside within 2 days. You can take anti-inflammatory pain medication to relieve discomfort.
Composite fillings last for an average of 5 to 7 years which is a little less than traditional metal fillings, especially when they are placed in the rear molars. However, composite fillings do not expose you to mercury, they are biocompatible, and are much more aesthetically pleasing.
Overall, they are a better option that still provides enough strength and durability to last for many years. You can extend the lifespan of your fillings by wearing a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth, avoiding using your teeth as tools, and avoiding eating hard or sticky foods that can damage your fillings.
Other filling materials include gold and porcelain.