Dental Fillings for Cavities
A dental filling can be comprised of a variety of materials, but always serves the same purpose: to restore and preserve a tooth that develops a cavity (hole) before the tooth is lost. Caused by tooth decay, which is a bacterial infection in your tooth’s structure, a cavity grows larger and larger until treated. With the right dental filling, you can stop the cavity and restore the tooth structure that the decay has already claimed.
What to Expect from Dental Fillings
- The first step to a dental filling is a dental examination to determine the extent of the tooth infection. In severe cases, a dental filling may not be enough, and you might require root canal treatment, instead.
- If a filling is the right restorative option, then Dr. Correa will help you choose an appropriate filling material – i.e., metal amalgam, tooth-colored composite resin, or more lifelike dental ceramic. The appropriate material will depend on the location of the tooth and your own personal preferences.
- Before placing a filling, Dr. Correa will thoroughly clean the cavity to remove infected tooth tissues and lingering oral bacteria. Once the cavity is sanitized, she will place the filling in the tooth to restore and protect its inner structure.
- If your filling is particularly large, then we may need to cap the tooth with a highly-realistic dental crown to protect the tooth from potentially damaging bite pressure.
What Makes Tooth-Colored Fillings Different?
Teeth that are exposed to the most bite pressure, such as molars, often require metal fillings to accurately withstand that pressure. For teeth that are more visible and exposed to more common levels of bite pressure, Dr. Correa often recommends tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin or dental ceramic. As their name suggests, tooth-colored fillings are designed to blend in discreetly with your tooth structure, creating a more discreet solution for treating cavities. Usually, tooth-colored fillings also produce less friction against opposing teeth, making them safer for the rest of your dentition.