Are you one of the millions of Americans that will suffer from tooth decay this year? The restoration of tooth decay is one of the most common reasons that patients visit their dentist’s office. Modern dental technology has evolved to meet the demand for high quality dental fillings. Composite fillings have now become the standard, in lieu of traditional metal fillings.
Why should I consider a composite filling?
If your tooth is decayed to the point that a cavity has formed or the tooth is otherwise damaged, a filling is your first line of defense against future decay. Fillings are one of the most common procedures performed at O’Brien Dental. Composite fillings offer a discreet and affordable option for maintaining the health and beauty of your smile.
What are the advantages of composite fillings?
In the past, your only option for repairing early stage tooth decay was with a metal amalgam filling. These fillings were silver in appearance and very visible dental restorations. In addition to not looking very natural, dentists would soon discover that metal amalgam fillings could actually cause additional damage to your smile.
Over time, metal fillings could cause teeth to become discolored or to turn grey. In fact, a filled tooth could look “dead” within months of receiving a metal amalgam filling, even though the surrounding tooth structure was very healthy. The metal used in these fillings was also very rigid and did not adapt to changes in temperature and other environmental factors, causing teeth to crack or become damaged over time.
Composite fillings have many advantages in that they can be created to match the color of your existing teeth and are made of composite resin that is flexible but strong. This strength prevents your filling from falling out or becoming damaged, and its flexibility prevents damage to your existing healthy tooth structure. Because composite fillings are made to match your natural tooth color, your restoration is discreet and will not cause your tooth to grey or discolor.
What should I expect during treatment?
Receiving composite fillings is a relatively quick and painless procedure. You should expect to be at our office for approximately one hour. Your mouth will be numbed with anesthetic to ensure your complete comfort throughout the procedure. After removing any decayed tooth structure with a drill, your dentist will fill the cavity with a resin that has been created to match your tooth’s natural color. The composite resin will be set with a special light, allowing you to use your filled tooth immediately. However, it is advised that you not eat or chew until any anesthesia has worn off – typically within an hour or two following the procedure. You can return to work, school or other activities immediately.
If you believe that you have a decayed tooth and need treatment, call O’Brien Dental today to discover if composite fillings are right for you.