The placement of dental fillings is the most common restoration performed. Most adults have at least one filling. The term filling comes from the material used to fill the space following the removal of decay, known more simply as a cavity. If you have a tooth that has been damaged, from decay or fracture, Dr. Coussens can repair it with the use of filling material.
When having a tooth repaired with filling material, there are two options:
An amalgam filling is the traditional material of choice. It is strong, durable and can withstand high chewing pressure. Amalgam is comprised of a variety of metal materials including liquid mercury, tin, silver, copper and another small amount of metal. The amount of mercury used has been found to fit within safe levels by the American Dental Association. It is noted for its dark metal color.
The composite filling material is better and stronger than it was in decades past. The material used today is much more durable and acceptable for normal chewing pressure. The composite material is metal free, and it is made of crushed quartz and resin. Composite can be shaded to match your teeth in color and molded to the desired shape. This material has quickly become the material of choice for many patients today.
Your Filling Treatment
Before a filling can be placed, we need to remove any decay. If you are having amalgam placed, the tooth may need to be reshaped, with composite filling the shape is irrelevant. Once the tooth is clean, we can then place the filling material. Dr. Coussens will take the shape of the tooth, the dentition of the tooth and how the material works with neighboring teeth into consideration. We check the bite throughout the procedure. The material is then hardened with blue laser light. Fillings are quite durable and should last many years with proper care and treatment; we will check the status of your fillings during your regular dental exams.
Replace Old Fillings
If you have old fillings made from the silver/mercury amalgams used to fill teeth years ago, you may want to regain a youthful-looking smile by replacing those with composite resin fillings. The amalgam fillings, even in the back of your mouth, don’t portray a young, healthy smile the same way that uniformly colored teeth do. Additionally, if you’re concerned about the safety of the silver/mercury amalgam, you may want to talk with Dr. Coussens about replacing these fillings with composites.
Fillings are more frequently being created from composite resins, which are tooth-colored and difficult to distinguish from natural teeth. Today’s composites are being made out of more durable materials, usually a combination of resin and glass or quartz to repair teeth in a way that creates a natural looking smile.
Ask Dr. Coussens for more information on composite fillings to determine if your amalgam fillings can be replaced without compromising the strength and function of your teeth.
In addition to repairing cavities, the filling material can be used to make other simple repairs on your teeth. Known as composite bonding, we can fill in chips and fractures in your teeth with composite material. We can even fill in gaps. The material is shaded to match your teeth and polished for a beautiful look.