A dental filling is used to “fill in” or restore a part of a tooth that has been affected by decay or has been otherwise damaged or cracked. Fillings restore the function, integrity, and appearance of a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth or teeth that have been worn down from excessive grinding.
How Is a Filling Placed?
The dentist first numbs the area where the filling is needed by injecting a local anesthetic. Once the area is numbed, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and shape it so that a new filling will fit properly. Then, the filling will be cemented into place, shaped as required, and hardened to finalize its contour.
Most patients will require regular checkups and routine X-rays in order to keep an eye on their fillings and make sure that they are in good condition. If the filling falls out or the X-ray shows that it has decay underneath it, it may need to be removed and replaced with a different material, such as silver amalgam or composite resin.
A silver filling is a common restorative treatment that restores a tooth after it has been affected by decay or damage. Silver fillings can last for years with proper oral care and routine visits to the dentist. The dentist will remove the tooth decay and clean the tooth before placing the silver amalgam material to restore the tooth’s structure. With proper care, a silver filling should last for many years before it needs to be replaced.
Although they are a common dental treatment, silver fillings do have some drawbacks. The material may wear down over time resulting in cavities around the filling. In addition, the silver color can stand out against natural tooth enamel and can make the smile look unattractive. We also offer patients composite resin or porcelain fillings that can be matched to the color of their natural teeth for a more natural appearance.
A composite filling is made of a mixture of glass and plastic compounds and is designed to match the color of a patient’s natural teeth. The decayed portion of the tooth is first removed, and the tooth is filled. In the past, amalgam was frequently used for fillings, but today, many patients prefer composite resin. This material more closely matches the color of the teeth, making for a more attractive smile.
In addition, this material is also less sensitive to temperature change, making it a more comfortable treatment option. And unlike silver fillings, composite is mercury free! Patients concerned about the health of their smile often choose composite fillings over metal ones.
How Are Amalgam Fillings Replaced?
When patients want to replace an old amalgam filling with a composite one, the dentist will first remove the old amalgam filling. After doing so, we will then prepare the remaining tooth for the composite material. This involves etching the surface to roughen it up slightly so that the bonding material can form a better seal with the tooth. Then, the composite material is applied in layers and a curing light is used to harden each layer. Once all of the layers have been placed, and the material is hardened, the filling will be shaped and polished so that the tooth looks completely natural.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Christopherson Family Dentistry, call (715) 344-9684 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 2901 Church St, Stevens Point, WI 54481.