Dental Fillings Are Different Than They Used to Be

Posted on: October 3, 2016

Dental FillingsMost of our patients are familiar with the concept of dental fillings. We normally use dental fillings after treating a cavity. Few people are able to go through life without getting at least one cavity. In the past, most people would get an amalgam or silver filling. While these are still available, there is a clear challenge to them: they stand out. When you have a silver filling, everyone will see it when you smile. Nowadays, there is a modern solution that blends in with your teeth. Our tooth-colored fillings accomplish the same thing as the traditional ones, but they do so in a way that is so discreet. You will never be able to tell which of your teeth ever had a cavity in the first place.

Why fillings are necessary:

We typically place dental fillings because we need to restore the structure of a tooth. The reason this is necessary when treating a cavity is that a cavity is actually tooth decay. When a portion of the tooth decays or dies, we need to remove it immediately. Removal is necessary since the area around the tooth becomes soft and sticky, which can cause the spread of infection. Once we remove the decay, we need to clean the tooth and verify that any traces of infection are gone. The challenge is that when you remove the decayed portion of a tooth, it will no longer be intact or have the same structure as before. Thus, we need to restore the tooth so you can eat in a normal way and go about life without a toothache.

In this scenario, dental fillings are an excellent solution. Once we clean and prepare the area, we can place the dental filling. With a tooth-colored filling, we place the material in layers and harden it with a dental light. This allows us to mold it and to make small changes to the top or ridges of the restoration; a necessary step to ensure your bite is not negatively impacted by the procedure. We take our time to shape every filling correctly and only positively impact your smile. The good news is that once the filling hardens, it will be durable enough to allow you to eat like normal and without restriction. While you may find that it takes a day or two to adjust, once you have, you will not even remember which of your teeth had to be filled.

We also use dental fillings in situations where there is minor damage to the tooth. For example, if a tooth is slightly chipped, a dental crown would be a far more significant restoration than is necessary. We can place a filling immediately, and it can resolve the problem by restoring the structure of the tooth. A bonus of using this option is that all of your remaining enamel can stay in place without needing to be removed to make space for the restoration (as is necessary when placing a dental crown). To learn more about this solution, call and schedule an appointment with our Seattle dental office.

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