October 9, 2016
Dental Fillings | Tooth Colored Fillings in Lithia Springs
In America, tooth decay is the number one chronic disease in children and adults. Over the years, tooth fillings have been the primary method of restoration for decays and cavities. These measures are taken to preserve the teeth or extend their longevity. Our dentists at Smile Symphony are trained to restore your cavities to establish a beautiful, functioning smile.
Why do I need fillings?
The main reason for needing dental fillings is the presence of some form of decay or infection within the tooth. The filling material acts as a replacement in the tooth structure, which has been compromised by decay. If left untreated, the decay-causing bacteria begins to degrade the enamel and dentin of the tooth, then infiltrates the viable pulp tissue area within the root canals. Having fillings will reduce the chances of needing more complicated procedures, such as root canal therapy. Teeth fillings are also done for broken teeth or fractured teeth.
What type of materials are used in fillings?
Over time, with new research and technology, new dental materials have been developed to strengthen the tooth and create a better biocompatible environment with the surrounding tissue. Two common materials available are amalgam and composite. Both materials lead to the same end result: a decay free and healthy tooth.
Amalgam is a material mixed with different metals, known as an alloy. There are several advantages and disadvantages.
- Cheaper in cost than composite
- More durable than composite
- Easy placement
- Can withstand heavy chewing forces
- Great for less visible posterior teeth
- Contains small amounts of mercury
- Larger amount of tooth structure removed, so the tooth becomes weaker
- Not esthetic or natural-looking
- Edges can chip off if not placed properly, leading to leaky areas
- Can expand and contract, leading to separation from tooth
- Has short-term sensitivity to hot and cold
Composite is a tooth-colored material made of resin/glass polymers that can self-set, or uses UV light to set.
- Esthetic, natural appearance
- Strongly bonded to tooth structure
- Less tooth structure removed
- Undetectable as they blend in with the surrounding tooth structure
- More expensive
- Technique is sensitive (needs a dry environment in order to place)
- They can wear over time
• Additional materials: ionomer fillings, inlay/onlay, and gold
At Smile Symphony we only do composite or white tooth fillings. We have great offers for teeth fillings.
What are the procedures in a tooth filling?
Usually, the procedure is done in one appointment.
• Using x-rays and instruments, the dentist will determine the location and extent of the decay.
• Anesthesia will be given to numb tooth area being treated
• A rubber dam might be placed for isolation. (When placing amalgam, a separation between the oral cavity and the amalgam will prevent extra material falling into the mouth. Composite will need to have an absolute dry environment.)
• With rotary instruments, the dentist will access and remove the soft decayed tooth structures.
• In the case of composite fillings, the sound tooth structures will be treated with acid to allow for bonding material to attach strongly.
• Once etched, bonding material will be placed followed by the composite material in layers and light cured.
• In the case of amalgam, it is compacted in the cavity that the dentist will create designed ton hold the material.
• Both the amalgam and composite are polished and shaped to suit the rest of the teeth.
Frequently asked questions about fillings
How much does a tooth filling cost with dental insurance?
Smile Symphony is in-network with most insurances, so you will get the best possible price for your tooth filling. Our insurance specialist will let you know your dental benefits.
What can I expect after the placement of fillings?
• It is normal to feel some sensitivity. This should last only for the first couple days. If it continues, then we recommend Sensodyne toothpaste.
• The anesthesia will take some time to wear off. Be careful when chewing to prevent injury to your cheeks.
• Avoid eating on the side of treatment for the first day until the anesthesia wears off.
• In some cases, you may feel that your bite is too high. If you feel this, please come see us so we can reshape the filling to better suit you.
• Your gums may feel sore due to the procedure. This will resolve on its own within a week. If any sores linger for more than a week, please see our office.
• For amalgam fillings, avoid eating hard or sticky substances on that side for the first day. For composite fillings, you are allowed to eat immediately after, as long as you avoid eating on the treated side of your mouth.
How long does the tooth filling last?
Generally, fillings last 10-15 years. But good oral hygiene and regular visits to our Smile Symphony dentist will prolong the life of the fillings.
What are temporary fillings?
These fillings are designed to serve as a transition material before a more permanent filling material is made.
What should I do if my old filling fell out?
Tooth fillings can fall out due either to decay under the filling or to broken bonding. This may be a dental emergency, as the exposed tooth can become quite painful. It may also be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Please see Smile Symphony, our affordable dental care office in Lithia Springs, to help you with your filling.
Can I use a dental filling kit from a pharmacy to fill my tooth?
You can use the dental filling kit as a temporary remedy. Use it only to relieve sensitivity or if the broken tooth is sharp.
Note: Do not use if there is pain or swelling. See your Lithia Springs affordable dentist, Smile Symphony, immediately.
Please visit our office to determine if you need fillings today!