Fillings are a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, porcelain, and composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, usually are used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important.
These are examples of two different types of fillings we offer:
Amalgam (silver) fillings
Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resins
Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden.
What to Expect
A composite resin filling can be done at Fern Creek Dentistry with the patient under anesthesia for any discomfort and pain. Once the patient is ready, our dentists will use a drill to precisely eliminate the infected area of the tooth. Next, our dentists will etch the enamel with an acid gel to better bond the composite resin filling when it is completed. The resin is attached and hardened with a special light. Our dentists will continue to apply layers of resin and harden them with the light until the tooth is solid and closed. Any excess resin can be polished with the drill for a even finish.
Once the dental filling is applied and completely dried, our dentists will smooth the resin for even edges. After the local anesthesia wears off, the patient may have sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet tastes, pressure, and other sensations. This sensitivity is short-term and should not last for more than 1 or 2 weeks. The patient should continue a proper home dental care regime, including flossing and brushing, in addition to annual cleanings and exams at Fern Creek Dentistry. Our dentists will check the state of the composite resin filling at each visit and help the patient decide when they should get a replacement filling.