Our teeth experience a lot of wear and tear over our lifetime. If teeth are damaged, the look of your smile isn’t the only thing that is compromised. More damage can occur below the surface, putting your mouth and your health at risk. But don’t fear! There is a solution to damaged teeth and that solution is installing dental fillings.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings serve to renew the functionality of damaged teeth by restoring both their look and their original strength. These fillings are hardly noticeable and reverse the stress you put on your teeth over the years.
History of Dental Fillings
In the past, dental fillings were made exclusively of metal components, which made fillings functional, yet extremely noticeable. Because of this, people weren’t keen on installing fillings to front teeth because they would stand out. Now, there are metal free and natural looking options for fillings that can be installed to any tooth in your mouth. Fillings are stronger than ever and can even be installed in back teeth, which experience the most work from chewing.
Metal solutions still exist today, but with dental advancements, you can choose to have different fillings installed. Dental fillings can be made of:
- Amalgam: This is the metal dental filling that has existed for a long time. In fact, amalgam fillings have been used for nearly 150 years. It’s composed of copper, silver, and tin mixed with liquid mercury.
- Composite: These are tooth-colored fillings that are made from plastic. Introduced recently, composite fillings are strong and blend in with your natural teeth. The plastic in the filling is hardened with the use of blue light.
- Gold: A more expensive alternative, gold fillings are strong but noticeable like amalgam fillings.
At Park Avenue Dental, we are happy to install composite fillings due to their flexibility and easy maintenance. However, we also can install amalgam dental fillings upon request.
When to Use Them
Dental fillings are used to solve many different problems regarding damaged teeth including:
- Worn down teeth
- Tooth decay
- Chipped teeth
- Loose teeth
- Teeth that are misshapen, discolored, or don’t fit in your mouth
Most commonly, dental fillings are used in cases of cavities. Once the cavity is removed, a dental filling is used to fill and cap the hole to protect the tooth from future damage.
The best option when choosing a dental filling is to choose a composite filling. Composite fillings are the modern solution to repairing damaged teeth. One of our dentists will install layers of composite to the tooth and then blend the layers together until it matches the shade of your natural teeth.
Composite fillings are our choice for dental fillings, but don’t just take our word for it. Composite fillings have so many benefits including:
- Variety: The ability to add different layers allows composite fillings to match your natural teeth and make it easier to achieve a natural-looking smile, even after tooth damage.
- Smooth: The plastic composite filling dries smooth and you won’t even know where the filling ends and your natural tooth begins!
- Strong: Composite fillings restore your teeth to 85-95% of their original strength.
- Maintenance: If minor damage happens to your composite filling, one of our dentists will just need to add additional material and let it harden. If you have amalgam filling, you would need to fully replace the entire filling.
The dental fillings process is a short and simple procedure, with little to no pain at all. In the case of a cavity, one of our dentists would numb the affected area and then remove the decayed part of the tooth. After that, our dentists will clean the area to make sure no infection can occur. Then, they would install the filling, which will be in a liquid state. Once the area is full of the filling, a special light is used to harden the filling and then you are good to go!
How They Protect Your Teeth
After you have dental fillings in place, you can go about your normal life. Dental fillings are your teeth’s new armor against decay, damage, and infection. The material used in the filling will fill the tooth gaps or cracks, expanding to make sure there are no areas left unprotected. With damage or removal of a cavity, the fillings fill the space and return the affected tooth to its original composition. With no room for decay or infection to enter, fillings restore the protective shield. Unprotected teeth that have encountered some sort of damage would leave the tooth defenseless.
Dental Fillings with Park Avenue Dental
At Park Avenue Dental, we want to make sure you are comfortable every step of the way. Your smile and your mouth’s health are our top priority. If you are interested in restoring damaged teeth, contact us today to schedule an appointment.