A dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay or cavity back to its healthy shape and function. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down sugars and carbohydrates that are left on the teeth after snacks and meals. The bacteria forms an acid through this process that dissolves tooth structure, creating holes in the teeth called cavities. During a dental filling, the decay/cavity is removed and the area is thoroughly cleaned and finally filled with a filling material. By removing the damaged tooth structure and closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. There are several types of materials that are used for tooth fillings including Amalgam (silver), Composite Resin (tooth colored), Gold, and Porcelain. All types of fillings have their advantages and disadvantages, and Dr. Mark and Dr. Meg will help you decide which type is best for your tooth.
Types of Tooth Fillings
Composite Resin (Tooth Colored) – This filling material is a tooth-colored filling material that is specifically matched to your tooth. This type of filling material is directly bonded to the remaining tooth structure. Because of that property, we are able to be very conservative when removing tooth structure before placing the filling. Advances in this type of filling have made it very durable and natural looking. Composite Resin is also used for cosmetic bonding and recontouring of the front teeth.
Amalgam (Silver) – This is the oldest dental filling material and has been used in dentistry for more than a century. Amalgam is very strong and has good wear resistance. Due to amalgam’s dark color, it can be visible when you laugh or smile.
Porcelain – Porcelain fillings are also known as porcelain inlays and onlays, and they are fabricated from an impression of the tooth in the dental laboratory. Porcelain onlay’s will cover a large portion of the tooth and will have good wear and stain resistance.
Gold – Gold inlays and onlays are also fabricated in a dental laboratory from a custom impression of your tooth. Although their cost is higher than other options, this is the longest lasting, most durable and bio-compatible type of filling. It is used in cases of allergies to certain metals or adhesives.
All types of fillings have their advantages and disadvantages, and Dr. Mark and Dr. Meg will help you decide which type is best for your tooth!
The importance of X-rays in detecting tooth decay early
Many patients ask if they “really need x-rays” on a regular basis if nothing is bothering them. The complicated nature of tooth decay is symptoms are rarely present until the cavity is so large that extensive treatment is needed to restore the tooth. At Ferdos Family Dental, our goal is to prevent decay through patient education, proper home care, routine dental cleanings, and the use of Fluoride. If decay is present, our mission is to detect it as early as possible so that you can receive the cheapest, most conservative treatment possible, and X-rays are a key tool in helping us achieve this.
Tooth decay can be detected by visual exam on all surfaces of the teeth that you can see, but cannot be diagnosed on surfaces that we cannot see, such as between the teeth or below the gums, except by X-rays. Modern digital X-rays used at Ferdos Family Dental are extremely safe and have a very low dosage of radiation. X-rays taken at a routine exam have the same amount of radiation that you get in a normal day from the sun and other everyday sources.
Ferdos Family Dental
The doctors and staff at Ferdos Family Dental are dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care for our patients in a relaxed and comfortable environment. We treat each patient as if they are a family member and give you the special attention that you deserve. Our doctors and staff are friendly, skilled and highly trained. We take great pride in the comfort of our patients and we will do everything possible to ensure your safety and well-being. We use the latest technology and best proven procedures to provide you with the best possible outcome at an affordable price.
If you believe you need a dental filling, call and make an appointment today!