Fillings are a frequent dental treatment that is recommended when a tooth has a cavity (a hole created by dental decay) or has broken down due to wear (often from grinding, or a habits like pen chewing or nail biting). Your dentist will complete a thorough evaluation of your teeth and recommend the best type of restorations for you.
Preparing your tooth to have a cavity filled is very simple. Your tooth will first be numbed with local anesthetic and then the tooth will be cleaned of any decay and bacteria will be removed. Your tooth will then be filled with the tooth colored material, the bite will be adjusted, and the filling will be polished. It is much easier to have fillings placed when cavities are small. The longer the decay is allowed to spread, the more extensive – and expensive – the dental treatment often is.
Tooth colored fillings are made of a composite resin material (a mixture of tiny glass-like particles) that allows the filling to chemically bond to your tooth and provide greater durability and longevity of the restoration. Tooth colored fillings are matched to your natural tooth color to blend in with your natural teeth and provide a very natural looking restoration.
Composite bonding can also be completed on your front teeth, as an alternative to veneers, as a way to conservatively improve esthetics and give you a beautiful smile.
It is important to take care of your fillings once they are placed. If you brush, floss, and maintain regular dental visits (2-4 times a year, depending on what has been recommended to you) dental fillings can often last for a very long time.