Dental fillings are materials used to fill cavities and repair structural damage to teeth from dental trauma. The filling rebuilds the structure of the tooth to restore its health, function, and appearance. For teeth with cavities, the decay first needs to be removed.
Fillings can be made of many different materials such as amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, gold, and glass-ionomer cement. Fillings are effective cavity treatments and repair damaged teeth to restore their functionality for chewing and speaking.
At Whitestone Family Dentistry, we offer composite resin fillings which match the natural color of your teeth. Unlike old-school silver amalgam fillings, composite resin restores our patients’ beautiful smiles while blending in with their teeth. These fillings are ideal for use in the front teeth which are visible when you smile.
Benefits of composite resin fillings:
If your tooth has a cavity, we will need to remove the decay with a dental drill. First, we will inject you with local anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain. Once the decay has been removed, your tooth will be cleaned. We will then etch the tooth with an acid solution to help with the bonding.
We will then paint on layers of composite resin to the tooth and cure each layer with a UV light so it instantly hardens. The resin can then be shaped to the contour of the natural tooth. We finish by polishing the tooth so it blends in with the rest of the teeth.
No, getting a dental filling is painless. The only aspect of the procedure that could cause pain is drilling out the decay, but we will numb your mouth with local anesthesia so you don’t feel a thing. If you were experiencing any pain from the cavity, the removal of the decay should relieve this.
Once the anesthetic has worn off, you may experience some tooth sensitivity or tenderness but most patients report that this is mild and does not last for very long. If this tenderness is bothering you or interfering with your ability to eat, try taking over-the-counter pain medication and chewing on the other side of your mouth.
Composite resin fillings last for an average of 7-10 years. Ultimately, this will depend on your lifestyle, oral health, and wear and tear. A few ways you can make your dental fillings last for as long as possible include: