To keep your teeth as healthy as possible, you probably strive to avoid cavities at any cost. Sometimes, however, life happens, and we develop one or two. When that happens, do not panic! Your teeth will be just fine with a little care from our office. Depending upon the tooth in question, you will have to figure out what kind of filling you would like to have placed in the cavity that is left over after we clean out the tooth decay. Fillings are used to restore areas of your tooth affected by decay. At New Smiles Studio, we are happy to offer our patients only the best in composite options to "fill in" the surface of the tooth after all the decay has been removed. Dr. Marshall takes her time to ensure a natural look.
What are fillings?
Have you ever gone in to see your dentist with a toothache only to find out that you had something known as a “cavity”? What the dentist was saying in that moment was that your tooth had a pocket of decay that needed to be cleared out. To do this, dentists will remove the decay and disinfect your tooth. The space that is left behind after the procedure – the “cavity” – will then need to be filled to help avoid further decay issues as well as to help support the tooth and keep it strong. The material that goes into these cavities is often referred to simply as a “filling.”
What is a composite filling?
When you picture a tooth filling, you might imagine a big, silver monstrosity that goes into your molars in after having the decay removed. That silver filling is made from something known as amalgam, a metal alloy. It is incredibly strong and an excellent choice for filling as long as you are not worried about appearance. That means that if the filling in question is going to be a tooth in the very back of your mouth, you might consider having amalgam inserted.
On the other hand, sometimes we want something that looks natural – especially if the tooth in question is closer to the front of our mouths. When this happens, we will probably recommend a composite filling. Composite fillings are about as strong as amalgam fillings are and they have the added benefit of looking like natural tooth material, which is especially great when you have to have something filled in on one of your front teeth. Dentists can even sculpt composite after it has been placed to help ensure that it looks natural, and then they can put a sealant on top of it if you are worried about discoloration in the future.
How long do composite fillings last?
Over the years composite filling materials have continued to advance and are comparable in strength to amalgam fillings. You can expect to have composite fillings for a decade and as with any filling material regular check-ups, brushing and flossing are necessary to maintain your teeth.
To learn more about composite fillings, give us a call today at 818-308-6024!