Dental Fillings: Restore the Look and Function of Your Smile
If you have a small or medium-sized cavity, our dentists will typically recommend a filling. We proudly offer several types of dental fillings at our Statesboro, GA, practice. Silver amalgam is the traditional choice. However, we typically recommend tooth-colored composite restorations. Not only is composite custom-matched to your smile, it also provides several important functional benefits. Contact Dr. McGibony & Associates to learn more about fillings and your restorative options.
The Importance of Dental Fillings
Without appropriate care, a cavity will grow, eroding dental tissue. If your tooth becomes infected, root canal therapy may be necessary. In severe cases, you could lose your tooth. This is why it is imperative that you schedule regular dental exams and cleanings, and have existing cavities promptly treated.
Once you receive a filling, it will fortify the walls of your tooth so that dental function is restored and pain is eliminated. Your restoration will also seal the cavity, preventing bacteria from growing and reducing your risk of future decay and infection.
Dental Filling Materials
For many years, silver amalgam was the most common choice for dental fillings. Composed of silver, copper, tin, and mercury, amalgam is still widely used today. However, while the material is very durable, its aesthetics are less than ideal. Not only are amalgam fillings conspicuous, this type of filling can discolor your entire tooth over time, giving it a slightly gray tint.
Composite resin blends naturally with the tooth for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
We can provide silver amalgam fillings upon request, but we typically recommend tooth-colored composite restorations. With technological improvements over the past 10 years, this modern substance is now virtually as strong as metal, and its appearance is much more realistic. Your dentist will find a shade of composite that matches the color of your smile.
We typically recommend tooth-colored composite restorations. Not only is composite custom-matched to your smile, it also provides several important functional benefits.
Unlike metal fillings, composite resin chemically bonds to the natural structures of your tooth. Therefore, not as much healthy tissue needs to be removed to place the filling. Additionally, composite resin is a highly stable material that will not shift in size or shape. Silver amalgam, in contrast, expands and contracts with temperature changes. Over time, this can weaken your tooth or cause it to crack.
Like many patients, you may already have a silver amalgam filling, but would like to enjoy the benefits of composite. If this is the case, we can remove your old restoration and replace it with a tooth-colored filling.
What to Expect
Before placing a filling, your dentist will numb your tooth. Then, he or she will gently remove bacteria and damaged tissue to prevent further decay. Your practitioner may need to remove a small amount of healthy tissue to accommodate the filling. Next, your dentist will fill the tooth, making sure that your restoration is a precise fit in terms of shape and size.
If you receive a composite filling, your doctor will place the restoration in layers, using a curing light to harden each successive layer. Once finished, he or she will trim any excess material and polish your tooth. Some patients experience mild sensitivity after treatment that generally subsides within a few days.