If you have one or more cavities, a filling can stop the destruction of your teeth and help you maintain a healthy smile for life. In the past, metal amalgam fillings were common, but today we understand why metal fillings are not a good choice. At Kuhn Dental Associates, we use tooth-colored fillings to repair damage to your teeth.
If you are looking for a dental filling in Aberdeen, NC, please call today for an appointment with a restorative dentist at Kuhn Dental Associates.
Why Get a Filling
Our mouths are home to hundreds, even thousands of species of bacteria. Some of these species feed on the sugars and other carbs in our food, and when they do, they produce acid. This acid attacks our tooth enamel, but the damage is very slight at first. Eventually, the acid can make a small hole in the tooth, a cavity.
Cavities make conditions more favorable for these bacteria. Food gets trapped in the hole, and the bacteria are more sheltered from your saliva, which is harmful to them. And in the cavity, their acid concentrates. This speeds the damage to your teeth.
As the cavity grows larger, you might start to feel sensitivity. Eventually, the cavity will reach the center of the tooth, where the living nerve is. Once bacteria infect the interior of the tooth, it can be very painful–and dangerous. That is when you need root canal therapy.
Filling a cavity in its early stages seals it and slows the damage so you are less likely to need a crown or root canal therapy.
Two Types of Tooth-Colored Fillings
At Kuhn Dental Associates, we offer two types of tooth-colored fillings. Ceramic inlays and onlays are recommended for large cavities.
But for most cavities, composite fillings work well.
How Composite Fillings Work
Composite fillings are made of a soft resin (plastic) that has ceramic inclusions to improve the strength and durability of the material. The process of applying these fillings is simple.
First, we remove all damaged tooth structure. Then we use a light acid wash to roughen the surface of the tooth where the filling will be.
The composite is initially soft, like a paste, so we apply it to the prepared area and shape it. Then we use a light to harden the filling. Depending on the size of the cavity, we might repeat these two steps to make sure we harden the filling completely.
Once the filling is complete, we polish it to give it an attractive surface.
Benefits and Limitations of Composite Fillings
Composite fillings have become much more popular in recent years because they offer many benefits, including:
- No silver or black filling
- Initially very attractive
- Don’t require removing much of natural teeth
- Long-lasting when properly placed
- Bond with natural tooth, creating tight seal
- Won’t crack or discolor teeth
However, there are reasons why we offer two types of tooth-colored fillings. In some situations, a composite filling might not be a good choice because they:
- Are vulnerable to staining
- Can lose their polish
- Are not as strong as other fillings
- Can lead to pressure sensitivity
- Don’t restore strength to decayed tooth
- Don’t last as long in demanding conditions
For these reasons, we might recommend ceramic inlays and onlays for your cavities.