Fillings: Composites, Amalgams
Dental fillings are often used to restore teeth that have a small amount of tooth decay, otherwise known as a cavity.
Fillings are a common restorative procedure in modern dentistry with the prevalence of cavities not just in children, but adults as well. All of the sugar-infested foods and drinks we consume are large culprits of tooth decay. Even foods like pasta, bread and fruits can cause decay if they stay on teeth.
Types of Dental Fillings
You have a choice in the type of dental filling you desire, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
These offer excellent strength, because they chemically bond to your tooth. In the past the past, they typically were not as strong as amalgam fillings but with advances in materials they are long lasting and reliable. They require less tooth structure to be drilled as well.
Silver (amalgam) Fillings
The least expensive option that offers strength at the cost of giving you an unnatural appearance in your teeth. They also contain mercury, a substance that is known to cause toxicity in humans. At Dr. Sally's office we have chosen not to use silver fillings.
This material is similar to composites in that they are white, but not as esthetic as composites. Strength wise they are not as strong, so indicated for smaller fillings. They great for root cavities for example where there is no biting force. The advantages of glass ionomers are they are often BPA free, resistant to new decay around the margins, are very friendly to the gums, and release fluoride.
Fillings - The Procedure
A standard filling procedure involves isolating the tooth that will be filled. Once this has been established, your Hollywood dentist uses special tools to remove the decayed area from your tooth, preventing it from spreading any further. If it is deep, a liner is placed to protect the nerve and other material placed to prevent sensitivity. The filling material chosen is then placed into the area that was removed and hardened with a special bonding light that permanently seals it in.
Upon first biting down, it may feel weird. This is normal and can be fixed. Your dentist will make sure you have a comfortable bite before you leave the office.
How long do Fillings last?
It is difficult to pinpoint an exact range because there are too many factors that contribute to how long your filling will last: the material chosen, the type of foods you eat, drinks consumed, and habits (i.e. grinding teeth)
all play an equal role in determining the life of a dental filling. Typically, any material chosen will last at least 5-8 years. Taking care of your teeth will prolong the life of any dental work in your mouth.