Dental FillingsAn Overview
Tooth decay is a common dental health concern that can affect patients of any age. Decay can compromise the structure and function of the teeth. Left untreated tooth decay can worsen causing damage to the surrounding teeth, bone, and gums and possibly even lead to tooth loss. Early diagnosis of tooth decay can allow for conservative treatment such as a dental filling.
Dr. Carter Perkins may recommend dental fillings as a conservative treatment option to repair minor to moderate tooth decay. Dental fillings are a routine general dental service that can typically be completed in just one visit to our Dunnellon, FL dentist office.
Types of Dental Fillings
- Resin Dental Fillings: Resin dental fillings have become a preferred method for repairing tooth decay for their cosmetic results. Resin fillings can be color matched to the affected tooth for a seamless result. White fillings are made from a biocompatible metal-free composite resin. Resin fillings are highly durable and can last for many years with oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Dr. Perkins may also recommend replacing old metal fillings in the “smile-zone” with white fillings for a more aesthetic smile.
- Amalgam Dental Fillings: Amalgam dental fillings are a more economical alternative to resin white fillings. Amalgam fillings are traditional metal dental fillings. Dental fillings restore teeth affected by tooth decay and protect them from future decay.
- Inlay & Onlay- An inlay or onlay, or partial dental crown, can restore a tooth that has more advanced tooth decay. If large areas of the tooth have been damaged by decay, or if the decay is in a deep crevice of a tooth, and inlay or onlay may be a conservative treatment option to avoid the need for a tooth extraction.
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Dental Fillings What to Expect
A dental filling is a relatively routine and simple treatment that can be completed during a single visit. Most of our patients experience little to no discomfort during their dental filling. Our dental care team will do everything they can to ensure your optimal comfort during treatment. In most cases, a local anesthetic can be used to make you feel comfortable.
Dr. Perkins will begin the treatment by gently scraping off any damaged or diseased tissue from the affected tooth. The tooth is then thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the filling material. Once prepared, the chosen dental filling material will be placed. Dr. Perkins will sculpt the material into place for optimal comfort and aesthetics. A special blue light activates the drying agent in the resin and forms a tight seal to the tooth. Dental fillings are designed to stabilize the tooth structure and reduce the risk of future decay.
For an inlay or onlay, Dr. Perkins will take digital images of the prepared and cleaned tooth. Our in-house dental lab technician will use the images to create an inlay or onlay that will securely fit the damaged tooth sealing out future decay. The patient will be asked to return to our Dunnellon, FL dentist office once the restoration is complete for a final placement and fit.