A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape.
If you have a tooth that requires a filling, we will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
Our office primarily uses composite (plastic) resin for fillings. Composite fillings are custom-made to match the color of your natural teeth, creating a more aesthetic appearance. They are specially designed for both anterior and posterior teeth and can restore teeth almost invisibly. Modern composite resins and bonding agents are very strong and can last as long as amalgam (silver) fillings, 8-10 years on average. Composite restorations are completed in just one appointment.
Although amalgam (silver) fillings have been used extensively in the past, our office does not use them because they tend to eventually fail by cracking the tooth, and they have largely been replaced by other superior materials. Due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth. If your silver fillings are causing problems for you, we can remove them and replace them with composite fillings.
If you prefer, we can also use gold as a restoration. Gold fillings last a very long time (typically 25-30 years), but they are also more expensive than other types of fillings. Gold restorations also require two appointments in our office because they involve lab work.
We will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where the filling is needed, and your budget.