Fillings are used to restore teeth that have experienced minor to moderate decay. These days we use esthetically-pleasing materials, such as resin composite, to fill cavities in the visible portion of your smile. In some circumstances, Dr. Jeannie Molato, DMD may recommend amalgam, or silver fillings, for areas that must withstand a strong bite force. Before we place a filling, we will take into account aesthetics, function, and tissue compatibility to select the material most suitable to your situation.
Teeth damaged by cavities or injury need restorations. At Laser Dental Bakersfield, it is our goal to help our patients keep their natural teeth as long as possible. We offer a variety of options for fillings that are both durable and cosmetically appealing to help you keep up your self-confidence when you talk, eat, and smile.
What Are Fillings?
When you have a cracked tooth due to injury or a hole due to decay, it puts the integrity of your tooth at risk. You may feel pain if the tooth’s root is exposed or you could get an infection in your mouth if bacteria leak into the hole or cracks.
Fillings ‘fill’ these areas and we offer a few fillings options including amalgam, composite resin, gold, and porcelain ceramic fillings. The chosen material fills the hole or crack, making your tooth whole again. You can then go about your normal chewing habits without worrying about the integrity of your tooth.
Understanding Your Filling Options
At our office, we provide our patients with a variety of filling options so that you can choose the one that suits your lifestyle the best:
- Silver fillings. Amalgam fillings are the most common option. They have a ‘silver’ appearance and are durable. We often use silver fillings in the molars and bicuspids to give those teeth the strength they need to chew.
- Composite resin. This tooth colored filling is a cosmetically pleasing option for fillings near the front of the mouth. Softer than amalgam, we typically suggest resin composite for small cavities or chips. It does have the risk of chipping and staining, so patients must exercise care when choosing this filling option.
- Porcelain ceramic. This is also a tooth-colored filling, but it has more durability than composite resin. Our lab creates the porcelain fillings from an impression that we take of the tooth. We then lay the onlay over the tooth, giving you a durable structure for chewing while keeping your natural tooth roots intact.
- Gold fillings. A bit more obvious than even silver fillings, gold fillings are another onlay that covers the entire tooth after we remove the decay. Gold is a well-accepted material in most patients’ mouths, and they can last for as long as 20 years.
Who Needs Fillings?
You probably will not be able to tell yourself if you need a filling unless you have a large, gaping hole from an undetected cavity. That is why it is important to keep your bi-annual checkups with us. Our dentists will thoroughly check each tooth for early signs of decay. The smaller the cavity, the smaller amount of your natural tooth, we have to remove. This helps protect the integrity of the natural tooth as you age.
We will consult with you if we notice any cracks, holes, or decay that requires fillings and discuss your options. With a large variety of filling options, we make it easy to find the one that suits your needs and lifestyle the best.