Cavities are unnatural spaces within teeth that occur when bacteria accumulate and cause decay. Decay can cause severe damage to teeth and lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Fillings fill these cavities, restore the damaged tooth structure, and prevent further damage. At George J. Karr, DDS, a dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure.
Types of Dental Fillings
Silver fillings are often called “amalgam” fillings because they contain a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. These materials are mixed to form a soft putty-like material inserted into the tooth and shaped to fit into the cavity. The dentist will make a cast of your tooth so the restoration can be custom-made in a lab to match your smile.
These are among the most robust and durable types of fillings available. They are made entirely of gold, a metal that does not rust easily. This makes gold an excellent material for restorations that withstand tremendous pressure over long periods. The metal will look better as time passes and is resistant to staining agents such as coffee or wine.
Composite resin fillings look like natural tooth enamel, blending right in for a flawless smile design. Because composite resin is bonded to the teeth, it’s stronger than natural tooth enamel. The composite material is also relatively soft compared to silver amalgam, making it more comfortable for patients when chewing or speaking. This is an excellent option for patients with small areas of decay or damage to their teeth. Combining pleasing aesthetics and high durability with patient comfort makes this filling material our go-to choice for many patients.
The Benefits of Dental Fillings
Fillings help patients with cavities avoid more severe complications that require more extensive treatment, like a root canal. Decays that start in the tooth's enamel layer can spread into the inner pulp and affect the nerve inside the tooth. Patients need root canal therapy if the nerve becomes infected or damaged.
By placing a filling in your tooth damaged by decay or trauma, you are restoring your ability to chew and speak correctly without experiencing pain or discomfort. In addition, the damaged tooth structure is being restored to its original strength. A filling will also help to prevent future infection by keeping plaque from building up inside your tooth and along the gum line. This will help prevent gum disease, which can be linked to diabetes and heart disease.
If you want to know more about how your dentist can treat cavities and restore healthy smiles, contact the dentist in Boca Raton, FL - George J. Karr, DDS, at 1590 NW 10th Ave #400, Boca Raton, 33486, or call (561) 368-9966.