At EverSmile Dental, we understand the significance of maintaining a tooth’s structural integrity in the face of dental decay. When tooth decay, or dental caries, strikes, it can harm the natural shape and strength of a tooth. To counter this, we employ a procedure known as filling placement. This procedure is carried out regularly to rebuild and restore the damaged tooth, ensuring its functionality and strength.
Tooth decay is a pervasive chronic ailment impacting people of all ages across the globe. As a result, filling placement procedures have become a common occurrence in dental practices worldwide. However, at EverSmile Dental, we distinguish ourselves by providing precise and gentle treatment to our patients. Our commitment to remaining at the forefront of advancements in dental care ensures that we offer the highest quality dental fillings that are not only durable but also aesthetically pleasing.
Over the course of history, there has always been a pursuit to address dental issues and provide necessary care. Archaeological evidence reveals that attempts to place dental fillings were made even in the skeletal remains of humans who lived around 8000 BC. However, it was not until the 19th century, thousands of years later, that a range of metal fillings, including dental amalgam, became prevalent. Despite gold being a popular choice for restorative purposes, it became apparent that amalgam fillings, comprised of mercury and a silver, tin, and copper alloy, offered a more affordable, durable, and simpler alternative. For many decades, the majority of dental fillings remained as silver-colored amalgam restorations. However, as dentistry has progressed over the past 50 years, newer materials for fillings have been developed.
While amalgam fillings possess longevity and durability, modern filling materials offer several advantages. These new materials are free of mercury and other metals, making them more aesthetically pleasing. Commonly referred to as “tooth-colored or white fillings,” they seamlessly restore the shape and function of the affected tooth while blending in with the natural tooth structure and overall smile.
At EverSmile Dental, we personalize the treatment to cater to individual dental requirements and desired levels of care. As a part of our comprehensive services, we aim to enlighten patients about various treatment choices available, including the different dental filling materials that can be used to restore damaged teeth. Our primary objectives are to delicately eliminate dental decay and restore the impaired tooth structure, ultimately reconstructing the tooth’s appearance and functionality. Our priority is to deliver satisfactory outcomes that are not only healthy, durable, and long-lasting but also aesthetically pleasing.
Over the past century, traditional dental materials such as gold and amalgam have been the go-to options. However, with advancements in dental technology, a broader and enhanced range of restorative choices has become widely accessible. Apart from their strength and durability, these innovative filling materials offer visually pleasing outcomes that closely mimic the natural appearance of teeth.
Composite fillings, commonly known as “tooth-colored fillings” or “white fillings,” are composed of a blend of biocompatible resins and finely ground filler materials that resemble glass. These materials significantly enhance the strength and durability of the fillings once they set. Unlike traditional “silver” fillings, composite fillings are available in a wide range of natural-looking shades, making them aesthetically appealing.
Aside from their usage in filling cavities, composite resins are also employed in dental bonding procedures. These procedures aim to enhance the color or shape of a tooth, conceal imperfections, or close small gaps between adjacent teeth. To ensure a secure attachment and reinforce the tooth, composite fillings form a solid bond with the natural tooth structure through a bonding process. This bonding procedure also helps to seal and strengthen the tooth.
In addition to their ability to closely match the natural color of your tooth, composite fillings have the advantage of requiring minimal removal of tooth structure during placement. Furthermore, they do not expand or contract with temperature variations as dental amalgams do. However, it is important to note that composite restorations may be prone to wear and staining over time, potentially necessitating replacement in the future.
Amalgam fillings were the accepted method of treating decayed teeth for a long time. Although amalgam restorations lack the aesthetic appeal of other filling materials, they are robust, long-lasting, and less prone to break or deteriorate than certain other filling types.
Glass ionomer cements are a distinct category of white filling material that possess the ability to adhere to the surface of a tooth, ensuring a secure seal between the tooth itself and the surrounding oral environment. Apart from providing a restoration that closely resembles the natural appearance of teeth, glass ionomer cements gradually release fluoride, enhancing the strength and safeguarding the treated tooth against potential decay in the future. Although they may not exhibit the same level of durability or wear resistance as alternative filling materials, glass ionomers find frequent application in treating children’s teeth, cavities located near the gumline, and as temporary fillings.
High-quality dental porcelain and ceramics are used to create ceramic fillings, inlays, and onlays. These restorations are highly resistant to stains and wear, making them the best choice for tooth-colored fillings. Not only are they durable, but they also produce attractive and long-lasting results. Unlike “direct” fillings like dental amalgam and composite fillings, which are placed immediately after tooth preparation, “indirect” fillings like inlays or onlays are crafted outside of the mouth before being inserted and bonded in place.
Nowadays, gold fillings are less frequently used and costlier compared to other materials. However, they still boast exceptional restorative qualities. Gold fillings possess remarkable physical and chemical attributes, making them durable and long-lasting. Moreover, they are gentle on the surrounding tissues and maintain stability over extended periods. Despite being scarce and more expensive, gold fillings remain a top-choice for dental restorations.
Once our dental clinic has the opportunity to evaluate the condition of your smile, we will inform you of our findings and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to ensure that your smile remains healthy and functions optimally. In the event that we detect any decay in your teeth, we will schedule appointments to address these cavities by placing the necessary fillings or restorations. At EverSmile Dental, we prioritize patient care and strive to provide a comfortable experience.
Although cavity treatment and filling placement are routine procedures in dentistry, we recognize that you may have queries and concerns, and thus, we will keep you well-informed throughout the entire process. Treating a cavity involves the meticulous and gentle removal of decayed and damaged tooth structure, as well as the necessary preparation of the remaining tooth structure to ensure proper placement of your new filling. While each patient and smile are unique, you can expect your visit to last approximately one hour.
In most instances, the visit to the dentist involves the application of local anesthesia. During this procedure, your tooth will become completely numb, ensuring that you experience no discomfort. Various methods, such as a dental drill, dental laser, or air abrasion technology, can be employed to remove decay from your tooth. Once the decay is removed, and only healthy tooth structure remains, it is time for the filling to be placed. The method of placement depends on the type of filling material being used. Generally, composite fillings, glass ionomer cements, and amalgam fillings are placed immediately. However, if the cavity is extensive, a small palliative dressing and temporary filling may be used. Regardless of the type of filling applied, our dental office will carefully examine its fit, conduct any required polishing, and make meticulous adjustments to your bite to ensure maximum comfort and functionality. For patients who feel anxious about dental procedures, please rest assured that EverSmile Dental takes your concerns seriously. As highly skilled and experienced providers, we pride ourselves on delivering gentle dentistry and ensuring that your visit is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. In addition to performing dental procedures under local anesthesia, we are also more than happy to discuss options for dental sedation.
At EverSmile Dental, our primary objective is to assist our patients in achieving excellent oral health while keeping them well-informed throughout the entire process. Following the placement of a new filling, it is crucial to bear in mind the following points:
1. Until the anesthesia wears off: Immediately after your dental appointment, you might experience lingering numbness. Typically, normal sensation returns within one to two hours. However, it is essential to take precautions until the anesthetic has completely worn off to prevent accidentally biting or injuring your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue. Pay attention while chewing, consuming hot beverages, or smoking.
2. Adjustment to the restored tooth: Although we take great care in polishing your new filling and ensuring the proper bite, there may be instances where you feel the need for minor smoothing or further bite adjustment. This occurrence is rare, but if you experience it, please inform us so that we can address the issue promptly.
3. Temporary sensitivity: It is perfectly normal for a tooth to be slightly sensitive after a filling is placed. You may feel a slight twinge when consuming cold or hot foods and beverages. This sensitivity should alleviate on its own within a few days. However, if your sensitivity worsens, you experience persistent pain, or develop any other symptoms, please reach out to our office for assistance.
4. New restoration care: Our office utilizes the latest generation of strong and durable filling materials. By practicing proper oral hygiene and regular care, you can expect your new filling to last for many years. However, in cases of extensive tooth decay or underlying tooth injury, even the most excellent restoration may require replacement or further dental work in the future. We are dedicated to delivering high-quality care, and if you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Absolutely, it is still possible for tooth decay to occur on different parts of the tooth, specifically around the edges of a previously placed filling or, in rare cases, below it where decay has reappeared. Hence, it is crucial to uphold exceptional oral hygiene practices, consume a diet that is low in sugary drinks and treats, and ensure regular visits to our office for check-ups and proper dental care. Although tooth decay ranks second after the common cold in terms of occurrence, it can be largely prevented with these preventive measures.
At our clinic, we highly prioritize the convenience and well-being of our patients. In situations where cavities are found in neighboring teeth or within the same area of your smile, it might be feasible to address multiple teeth in a single visit. Nevertheless, the extent of dental work accomplished during each appointment is contingent upon a variety of factors. We take great care in ensuring that our patients are provided with clear and comprehensive information, and we customize every treatment plan and visit to cater to their individual requirements.
During a dental filling procedure, you will receive local anesthesia to guarantee your comfort. The targeted tooth will remain fully numbed for the duration of your appointment. It is important to note that the effects of the anesthesia will gradually diminish within one to two hours after the completion of the procedure, allowing normal sensations to gradually return.