Dental fillings are one of the most frequently performed restorative treatment in children and adults in the United States. Fillings “fill in” areas of your tooth so you can enjoy restored oral health, better bite balance, and lower your risk of future dental problems.
Dental fillings are made of pliable materials that fill in a portion of a tooth that has lost natural tooth structure, often as the result of tooth decay and or cavities. Because traditional silver fillings (dental amalgam) don’t bond to natural tooth structure (like dentin and enamel) – the dentist needs to create grooves or slots in the cavity area for fitting silver fillings using a drill. This results in the need to remove healthy portions of the tooth for the silver filling to fit in.
While multiple fillings options are available to restore teeth, Dr. Saini likes using white fillings, which are also known as composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings. With white-fillings, in small to midsized cavities – specially in your molars, Dr. Saini needs to only remove the damaged portion of the tooth before filling the space with composite resin. The natural-looking fillings blend in seamlessly with the color and luster of your natural tooth.
Following a more invasive restorative treatment, you may also be fitted with a pre-formed filling called an inlay or onlay. After root canal treatment or the removal of extensive tooth decay, you can be fitted with a dental crown. A crown fully encases a tooth with a ceramic cap that protects the underlying tooth.
Dr. Saini places the white filling in a short and comfortable procedure. Following your restorative treatment, the tooth being treated will be cleaned and sanitized. A special etching compound will be used to prepare the treatment site.
Etching opens up natural microscopic pores on the surface of enamel so the composite resin can gain a strong bond to the surface of your tooth. Once your tooth is prepped, Dr. Saini color-matches the resin to blend in with your smile.
Once the resin is placed, a special blue light will be used to quickly harden the fillings. Once the material is cured, Dr. Saini checks your bite to ensure that the composite resin does not interfere with your bite. Any minor adjustments can be made at that time.
The fillings will blend in seamlessly with the surrounding tooth structure. There is no recovery time associated with white fillings!
Caring for your white fillings is easy. With proper maintenance, your fillings can last for a few to several years. However, please be mindful of what you eat. Hard food items like popcorn seeds, nuts, and certain candies can chip or prematurely wear your fillings. Since those foods are generally bad for your teeth, we recommend that you avoid them or cut back on consuming them where possible.
During your routine annual cleaning or exam, Dr. Saini will check your fillings to look for signs of wear. If your fillings need to be replaced, a straightforward procedure can be completed during that visit or by scheduling a follow up appointment.
If you have questions regarding the recipes above, or to learn more about healthy foods to eat that won’t cause damage to your teeth, contact us today, and our friendly team will be happy to help. To schedule an appointment for you or your child, give us a call. Have a happy summer!