A filling is a special material used to fill a hole in a tooth that’s been caused by a cavity or dental trauma. When a cavity is present in a tooth, the decay needs to be drilled out to prevent infection and even tooth loss.
Fillings are minimally-invasive restorative treatments that prevent the need for more lengthy, costly, and invasive treatment. A filling preserves the natural existing structure of the tooth and replaces the portion of the tooth that we have to drill out to prevent the decay from spreading. A filling will restore your smile, tooth structure, and tooth function. Contact us at Ladd Family Dental to schedule a consultation.
Composite fillings are suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
By administering a local anesthetic, we numb your mouth and prevent any discomfort or pain during the procedure.
Using a dental drill or burr, we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth.
After etching the tooth with an acidic gel to help the bonding agent stick, we will apply the composite resin filling and mold it to the tooth
By exposing the filling to UV light, the filling cures and hardens. Then, additional shaping can commence.
Composite resin is the same tooth-colored biocompatible material used in dental bonding to change the cosmetic appearance of the teeth. These aesthetic fillings blend in with your natural teeth which is why they have become preferable to the old-style silver amalgam fillings which would cause cosmetic issues with the smile. In addition to that, composite fillings also allow us to preserve more of the natural tooth structure, they harden instantly, and they’re free from metal and mercury.
Since composite fillings don’t contain metal, they are suitable for patients with metal allergies.
A cavity is caused by existing bacteria in the mouth feeding off of left-behind food particles – specifically sugar, and converting them into acids that attack the tooth enamel. Over time, this forms a cavity or a hole in the tooth which is why it’s important to avoid excessive sugar, acidity, and frequent snacking. Fluoride can also strengthen the enamel to make your teeth more resistant to acid attacks.
No, a dental filling is completely painless because we use anesthetic to numb your mouth. The most you will feel is some pressure or sensation of moving dental tools, but you shouldn’t feel any pain. If you still feel nervous about getting a filling, we can offer you dental sedation so you feel super relaxed.
A composite filling lasts for about 5 to 7 years on average but they can last for at least 10 years with proper care. It largely depends on your lifestyle, oral hygiene, and the location of the fillings.
Fillings in the rear teeth degrade faster because they need to withstand more chewing forces than the front teeth. You should also invest in a mouthguard if you grind your teeth. As long as you avoid sources of wear and tear and staining and practice good oral hygiene, your fillings will last for many years.
Health-conscious patients prefer composite fillings because they do not contain mercury. While the ADA advises the levels of mercury in amalgam fillings are perfectly safe, they are unsuitable for certain demographics like young children.