A dental filling is the most common restoration we perform. When a tooth has been exposed to decay and a cavity has formed, we can remove the diseased portion and repair the tooth with filling material. Treating a cavity while the cavity is still small is always best, allowing decay to continue could lead to an infection inside the tooth meaning larger, more expensive repairs. At Rogue Valley Dental Center, we look for the development of caries as part of your dental cleaning and exam, if found, we quickly address it, which could mean the use of a dental filling.
Filling material can be used for a variety of repairs and enhancements on teeth including:
||Following the Removal of Decay:Our mouths are full of bacteria. The goal is to remove decay causing bacteria through daily brushing, flossing and rinsing. When we allow the plaque to remain it can dry and then harden making it difficult to remove and allowing decay to form. Decay leads to cavities in our enamel. We can remove the decayed portion and fill the area with filler.
||Making Repairs to Enamel:Filling material can be used to repair chips, cracks, fractures and more. Oftentimes patients are fearful of how expensive or time consuming these small repairs can be, or they just don’t know that it’s even possible, but using a technique known as dental bonding, we can make small, simple repairs in one office visit.
||Cosmetic Enhancement:In addition to repairs, filling material can be used to enhance the look of your teeth. We can close gaps, even your most visible teeth, and even surface the tooth to hide intrinsic stains. This process is known as dental bonding and it can be completed in just one office visit.
Though there are a few options when it comes to dental fillings, the most commonly used material today is composite resin. Composite is a blend of ceramic materials with a strong resin. It is a strong, durable material that can be matched to the coloring of your neighboring teeth, allowing the repair to hide in your mouth. Composite begins as a putty-like material that we can mold and shape, unlike amalgam, composite adheres to the enamel, meaning we only need to remove the diseased portion of the tooth. Once shaped, we can then harden the material in place with a blue light, meaning it’s ready to use the same day.
The placement of filling material is a painless process, so depending on the work being done beforehand, you may not need to be numbed.
If your tooth has an area of decay, we will need to remove the diseased portion of the tooth to stop the disease from continuing. This is done with a dental drill. In some cases, the disease may have spread into the dentin layer below the enamel and infected the pulp. This is when a root canal therapy procedure is necessary to save the tooth from needing extraction. We remove all infected debris and then cleanse the area with an antibacterial wash. If the cavity is not too large, we can then color match the composite and fill the cavity with filler. Patients who have experienced larger cavities, or significant damage to the tooth may benefit from the placement of a dental crown to provide an added layer of strength to the tooth.
We can help you have a strong, healthy smile. To learn more about fillings, or to schedule an appointment with our office, contact our Medford office at (541) 779-4517 today.