Top Dental Fillings near Rockville Centre
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When dental decay compromises a tooth’s structural integrity, a filling gets placed to rebuild its natural form and restore its strength and function.
Because tooth decay, also known as dental caries, remains one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting both children and adults worldwide, procedures to place fillings are routinely performed each and every day.
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According to archaeological findings, for as long as dental problems have existed, there have been efforts to provide emergency and restorative care.
In fact, attempts to place dental fillings have been found in the skeletal remains of people who lived around the year 8000 BC.
However, it wasn’t until thousands and thousands of years later, in the 19th century, that a variety of metal fillings, including dental amalgam, appeared on the scene.
Although gold achieved status as a popular restorative material, it was soon apparent that amalgam fillings, consisting of a mixture of mercury and an alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper, offered a less expensive, durable, and simpler alternative.
Until recent decades, the vast majority of dental fillings remained silver-colored, amalgam restorations. However, as dentistry has evolved in the last 50 years, new filling materials have been developed.
While amalgam fillings are long-lasting and durable, today’s newer materials offer the benefits of being mercury-free, metal-free, and much more aesthetic.
These “tooth-colored or white fillings” invisibly restore the form and function of the involved tooth, while seamlessly blending in with the remaining tooth structure and the entire smile.
What are the different types of dental fillings?
While traditional dental materials like gold and amalgam have been in use for over a century, recent advances in dental technology have made a more expansive and improved selection of restorative choices widely available.
Beyond offering strength and durability, these new filling materials provide aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking results.
Some commonly used filling materials include the following:
- Composite Fillings
- Composite fillings, which are frequently referred to as either “tooth-colored fillings” or “white fillings,” consist of a combination of biocompatible resins and finely ground, glass-like filler materials that become strong and durable when set.
- Composite fillings adhere to natural tooth structure through a bonding process, which also serves to seal and strengthen the tooth. Beyond providing a close match to your natural tooth color, a composite filling does not require removing of as much tooth structure for placement, nor are they subject to expansion or contraction with temperature changes as is the case with dental amalgams.
- Silver Fillings (Amalgam)
- For many years, amalgam fillings represented the standard of care for restoring decayed teeth. While they don’t offer the cosmetic appeal of other types of filling materials, amalgam restorations are strong, durable, and less likely than some other types of fillings to break or wear down.
- Glass Ionomers
- Another type of white filling material, glass ionomer cements bond to the tooth’s surface to provide a tight seal between the tooth and surrounding oral environment. Besides offering a natural-looking restoration, glass ionomer cements slowly release fluoride to strengthen and help protect the involved tooth from future decay.
- Ceramic Fillings
- Ceramic fillings, inlays, and onlays are fabricated from the highest quality of dental porcelain and ceramics. As the most stain and wear-resistant option in tooth-colored fillings, these restorations offer durable, attractive, and long-lasting results.
- Gold Fillings
- Far less common these days and more expensive than any of the other materials, gold fillings remain excellent restorations. With excellent physical and chemical properties, gold fillings are strong, long-lasting, kind to the surrounding tissues, and remain stable over time.
How are cavities treated?
Once our office has a chance to assess your smile, we’ll advise you of our findings and outline a comprehensive treatment plan to help ensure your smile is healthy and functions at its best.
If any tooth decay is detected, we’ll schedule appointments to treat those cavities and place the fillings or restorations that are needed.
At the office of Joshua Bratt DMD PC, patient care and comfort are our top priorities.
While treating cavities and placing fillings are among the most routine procedures in dentistry, our office understands you have questions and concerns and will keep you well informed every step of the way.
Treating a cavity involves the precise and gentle removal of decayed and damaged tooth structure and any preparation of the remaining tooth structure needed to secure your new filling.
Although every patient and every smile is different, you can expect your visit to take about an hour.
What Do I Need To Know Following The Placement Of My New Filling?
At the office of Joshua Bratt DMD PC, our goal is to help our patients enjoy optimal oral health and to keep them well informed every step of the way.
Immediately after the placement of a new filling, it’s essential to keep the following in mind:
- Until the anesthesia wears off
- Now that your tooth has been restored and rebuilt, it may feel slightly different
- You may experience short-term sensitivity
- Caring for your new restoration
We’re passionate about what we do and dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- If the pleasure of eating a delicious bowl of ice cream or sipping a soothing cup of tea gets overshadowed by dental pain that makes you wince; it’s time to contact our office. As skilled providers of care, we’ll determine what’s causing your discomfort and perform the treatment required to alleviate your symptoms and get you back on the road to oral health.
- Cavities develop because of an infectious process that causes progressive damage to tooth structure. Despite starting as a pinpoint defect on the outermost enamel layer of your tooth, untreated dental decay progressively compromises more and more healthy tooth structure as it works its way to the inner layers of your tooth.
- Yes, you can still develop tooth decay on other surfaces of the tooth, around the margins of an old filling, or in fewer instances, recurrent decay underneath it. For this reason, it’s essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene, a diet low in sugary beverages and sweets, and be sure to visit our office for routine checkups and care. While tooth decay is second only to the common cold in frequency, it’s almost entirely preventable.
- We value the time and comfort of our patients. If cavities are located on adjacent teeth, or in the same section of your smile, it may be possible to treat more than one tooth during your visit. However, how much is done each visit depends on several factors. We keep our patients well informed and tailor every treatment plan and visit to address their unique needs.
- Addressing concerns on the presence of elemental mercury in silver fillings, the American Dental Association (ADA), The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA, and the World Health Organization have all stated that amalgam restorations do not pose a risk to health. However, individuals with allergies or sensitivities to the metals in dental amalgam are advised to pursue other restorative options.
- Dental fillings are performed under local anesthesia to help ensure your comfort throughout the entire procedure. The involved tooth remains completely numb for the extent of your visit. Within one or two hours after the procedure is completed, the local anesthetic will gradually wear off, and normal sensations return.
- A tooth-colored composite filling is fully hardened and set by the end of your visit. However, we may advise you to wait a couple of hours until the local anesthesia has completely worn off. This advice is to help ensure you don’t accidentally bite your lip, cheek, or tongue while still numb.
- The lifetime of a dental filling varies depending on the type of material used. While popular dental materials can last a decade or more with proper care, they can degrade over time, wear down, or even break. When this happens, you may experience some tooth sensitivity, a jagged edge, or a loose or dislodged piece of filling material. Whatever the case may be, it’s essential to get the filling replaced before the tooth sustains further damage or other consequences arise. Beyond taking good care of your smile we can help ensure the longevity of your fillings, our office regularly checks the status of your existing fillings as part of a routine checkup exam.
- Dental insurances typically cover the cost of dental fillings. While we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits, there may still be an out-of-pocket expense. At the office of Joshua Bratt DMD PC, we strive to help you begin care without any additional financial stress or delay.