Dental Fillings in Sunbury

treat pesky cavities

what are dental fillings

A dental filling is when a material is used to fill a cavity in your tooth. Fillings are available in a variety of materials, but most commonly they are made of composite resin or silver amalgam. A cavity is a hole that forms in the enamel of your tooth due to tooth decay.

It's important to have this decay removed and these holes filled to prevent further damage to the tooth. You could need fillings in cases other than tooth decay, such as if a large portion of the structure of your tooth is missing due to dental trauma.

At Shine Dental, we offer composite resin and amalgam fillings. Dental fillings are an important aspect of preventative dentistry to prevent significant oral decay and damage to the tooth’s structure. To find out more about fillings or to get a cavity filled, contact us online or give us a call at (740) 936-3083 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Katelyn Miller.

Dr. Miller talking to patient in dental chair

restore your tooth

how do fillings work?

Fillings work to restore the structure and function of your tooth by removing any present decay and filling the rest of the tooth with durable material. It is a painless procedure because you are numbed before any drilling is performed in cases of cavities. 

First, a rubber sheet will be placed around your tooth to keep the area dry and free from bacteria. Then, a high-speed dental drill is used to completely remove decay inside of the tooth. The final step is to build the structure of the tooth back up by filling the tooth with a dental material such as composite resin or silver amalgam. 

There may be some subsequent drilling after the filling has been placed to level off the structure of the tooth, make sure it is level with the others, and won’t affect your bite. The local anesthesia will last for several hours so it is important to refrain from eating or drinking hot liquids until the numbness has worn off to prevent accidental injury.

dont wait for treatment

what happens if i dont get a filling?

It may not always be obvious to the naked eye that you need a filling. Holes in the teeth can be so small that they can only be seen on an x-ray. However, dental fillings are incredibly important at preventing significant damage to the structure of the teeth and further decay.

Destruction of your enamel is irreversible so if you fail to have the decay removed from your tooth and the structure restored with a filling, the decay is only going to worsen and spread throughout the tooth. 

Once the decay reaches the soft center of your tooth known as the pulp, it can cause the nerves inside of the tooth to die as well as cause infection. An untreated infection will spread throughout the body and cause very serious health problems if it is not treated with a root canal or extraction.

Dental fillings are relatively inexpensive and simple procedures that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by preventing significant oral health problems that would warrant root canal treatment or extraction.

dental patient in chair

types of fillings

composite vs amalgam

The specific filling you will want to choose depends on the location of the tooth, your budget, and how significant the decay is. Typically, teeth that are visible when you smile are filled with composite resin fillings because they match the color of your teeth. 

Composite resin fillings have an average lifespan of 7-10 years. However, they are prone to wear and tear, especially when used in teeth that exert a lot of force, such as the molars so they are recommended for teeth in the front of the mouth.

Silver amalgam fillings are more commonly used in the rear of the mouth such as the molars because they are made of metal and have a silver appearance. Amalgam fillings are extremely durable and cheaper than composite resin fillings.

These fillings will last between 10-15 years and can withstand more pressure than composite resin fillings. Amalgam fillings are more suitable for larger cavities where most of the tooth’s structure is missing. However, amalgam fillings contain mercury and while they are considered perfectly safe, they are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Positive Health Starts with a Smile