Most patients will have at least one dental caries, or cavity, at some point in their lives. Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases and affects patients of all ages. Dr. Cappy Sinclair offers tooth filling as a conservative restorative dentistry treatment for patients suffering from tooth decay in his Norfolk, VA dentist office. Dental fillings will protect future decay and add strength to a compromised tooth.
Composite Resin Tooth Filling
Dr. Sinclair uses composite dental fillings for their safety and natural look. This type of dental filling is a durable, biocompatible composite resin in a range of tooth-colored shades to match your natural teeth perfectly. In most cases, we remove very little tooth structure to install a composite resin tooth filling to preserve more of the natural tooth.
Composite fillings are metal-free, decay and stain-resistant, and provide durable results. Although they will not last as long as other types of dental fillings, composite tooth fillings will last many years with proper care. Also, it is important to note that composite resins do not contain mercury like amalgam fillings do. Amalgam contains mercury which can be toxic if it releases from the filling and enters the body through saliva or chewing food.
Replacing Metal Dental Fillings
Dentists traditionally use metal fillings to fill cavities in teeth. They consist of metal, such as silver, gold, or amalgam. Modern advances in cosmetic dentistry mean that you no longer need to suffer from unsightly and uncomfortable silver or mercury fillings. Dr. Sinclair replaces old metal fillings with a white tooth filling for a more comfortable and natural-looking restoration.
The Tooth Filling Procedure
Dentists call this procedure a direct restoration. Our dentist directly applies and sculpts the composite resin to the tooth. Dr. Sinclair will make sure you leave our office with the most natural-looking results that are indistinguishable from real teeth. Dr. Sinclair uses quality materials for composite tooth fillings that he color-matches to your natural smile for an aesthetically pleasing result.
The tooth filling process is complete during a single visit to our Virginia Beach, VA cosmetic dental office. First, our dentist or dental hygienist will conduct a dental cleaning on you. Then, the dentist will numb your mouth using a local anesthetic. Next, he will remove decayed parts of the tooth and clean out all bacteria and debris from the cavity.
After that step, he will place a custom-colored composite resin in the affected area and smooth it out. Most fillings have multiple layers and require color matching. Dr. Sinclair will match your filling to the color of your teeth. Then he will use a blue light (curing light) to harden the layers. He will shape it, trim any excess material, and polish the filling. This creates a natural surface that will feel comfortable while protecting and strengthening your tooth.
Your new tooth-colored dental filling can last up to 15 years if you adhere to a strict oral hygiene routine. However, tooth fillings are not permanent and may require replacement down the road.
What are the types of dental fillings?
There are many types of dental fillings but the most common are:
- Silver Amalgam Fillings: They consist of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and gold. Although strong and long lasting, they may expand and cause tooth cracks or spaces between other teeth.
- Composite Fillings: They consist of resin and plastic material. They are best for color matching, but not the longest lasting option.
- Ceramic Fillings: These consist of porcelain, are resistant to stains and abrasions, but can be brittle.
- Glass Ionomer Fillings: These consist of glass and acrylic. They are good for children, but are more likely to crack or wear out.