A dental filling is one of the most common dental procedures used in our dental practice. Most people will have a cavity at some point in there life and will need to have it treated. Tooth decay will only get worse until it is treated with a filling. The purpose of a filling is to restore a tooth that is damaged or decayed and prevent further damage. Dr. Pamela Doray offers tooth-colored fillings for the most esthetic restoration. We use a range of materials from resin to porcelain.
Dr. Doray can also replace old, dark fillings to improve both oral health and the appearance of your smile. The material recommended for a dental filling will depend on the location of the tooth and severity of the decay or damage to be addressed.
About Dental Fillings
White fillings are the standard in cosmetic dentistry for esthetics and function. For smaller fillings, Dr. Doray uses tooth colored dental composites to restore beauty and strength. The composite resin materials are placed directly into the teeth using the latest techniques. This type of filling will not last as long as a metal filling though. It will need to be replaced about every ten years.
In the case of larger fillings, Dr. Doray fabricates porcelain restorations or onlays which look and feel like natural teeth. Porcelain fillings will strengthen a weak or damaged tooth structure and prevent future damage to teeth. They will last longer than composite fillings but will also cost more. Porcelain restorations will require two visits because they are fabricated in a dental lab. Dr. Doray will also use porcelain to restore worn down teeth.
Some patients may prefer to have a gold filling placed because of it’s extreme durability. Gold is not as natural looking as a tooth colored filling but is the strongest option for a tooth filling. Gold fillings will also require two visits to our Philadelphia dentist office since they must be fabricated in a dental lab.
About the Procedure
Having a tooth filled will take about 20 minutes up to an hour depending on the number of teeth being treated and the size of the cavities. Dr. Doray will begin by cleaning and preparing the affected tooth, removing old fillings if necessary.
Depending in the severity of the tooth decay or damage, a local anesthetic may be applied to ensure the patient’s comfort during treatment. Once you are numb, Dr. Doray will begin to remove the damaged tooth material with an electric hand-piece. These are used instead the dental drills for the patients comfort.
Using a special tool, Dr. Doray will deposit the filling material. Once the filling material is placed in the affected area, Dr. Doray will cure it with a special light. The filling will be polished and adjusted if necessary for a comfortable fit.
Resin tooth fillings are typically placed during a single visit, but gold or porcelain fillings are custom fabricated in a dental lab and will require two visits.
Replacing Old Fillings
Old, dark fillings can be replaced with white fillings to enhance your smile and improve your dental health. Over time, old fillings can degrade and leak, allowing additional decay and damage to occur. Dr. Doray will examine your dental fillings and determine if they need replacement to keep the tooth healthy.