Fillings. We all have at least a couple. At the Doctors of Dental Medicine, we place fillings every day. But maybe you don’t know everything about this method of replacing decayed portions of your teeth.
Fillings, as their name implies, are used to “fill” areas that have to be removed because they are decayed. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (nail biting or tooth grinding).
Once your Doctors of Dental Medicine dentist has found that you have decay in a tooth, the first step is to remove the decayed portion. This is usually drilled out after local anesthesia numbs the area. Once the decay has been removed, the now empty space needs to be made ready for the filling. The cavity is cleaned of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, it may be necessary to put in a glass ionomer liner, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve.
In the past, silver amalgam fillings were the norm, but now, we usually fill teeth with tooth-colored composite resin. This is applied in layers. After each layer is applied, the material is cured with a special light. When the filling has been built to the proper height, it is then shaped into the necessary high and low points, and any excess is trimmed away. We then polish the restoration.
Types of filling materials
Teeth can be filled with a variety of materials today: gold, porcelain, silver amalgam (consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper), or tooth-colored composite resin.
Composite resin has become the preferred choice for a variety of reasons. It matches the color of the tooth, making it invisible, unlike silver amalgam or gold fillings. The composite actually bonds to the tooth structure, making them far less likely to fall out as they age. Less of the healthy tooth structure needs to be removed when compares with amalgam fillings.
Is it time for your next checkup? Call us at 732-329-3113 for an appointment.