Fillings are most commonly used to repair teeth holding cavities but can also be used as a means to restore cracked or broken teeth. To fill your cavity, we will clean out and remove the portion of your tooth that is decayed. We will then carefully fill and seal it with the filling. This will prevent the tooth from decaying further.
Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
Patients typically prefer composite fillings because the dentist can closely match the filling material to the color of your teeth. In fact, many patients opt to have their old amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite fillings. Composite fillings also chemically bond with the existing tooth structure, which gives the affected tooth even more support. It is also a very versatile material and can fix chips in the teeth or modify small gaps.
Amalgam Tooth Fillings (Silver Fillings)
Dentists have used this type of filling for many years, especially on back teeth. This type of filling is very durable. The dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to place an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.
For many patients, however, they do not want fillings that are readily obvious or visible. Plus, sometimes amalgam tooth fillings can discolor the surrounding tooth or cause cracks or fractures. Patients might also notice a greater degree of tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures with amalgam fillings.
The dental filling that is best for you is the one your dentist thinks best suits you, your dental history and what your overall oral health and aesthetic goals are. Make sure you keep up with your twice-yearly dental checkups and exams so your dentist can monitor for any signs of decay. If you can catch an area of decay when it’s small, it will be much easier to treat and fill that tooth.