At Downtown Georgetown Dental, your dentist cares about you and your oral health. Our goal here at Downtown Georgetown Dental is helping you maintain optimum oral health. Our team provides the care, information, and advice necessary for you to make wise decisions regarding your family’s oral health. Our patients are encouraged to contact us with any questions regarding oral health or the appearance of their smiles.
When you visit us for a dental exam, your dentist checks your fillings and may suggest that you replace any loose or broken ones. Your dentist also looks for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problem spots.
If you have a cavity, your dentist may keep an eye on it (if it's small) or fill it right away. If a large cavity is not filled, it can get bigger and cause pain. The tooth may even have to be removed and replaced with a false (or artificial) tooth.
Our experienced dentist will advise you on the type of filling that works best in your particular case, and inform you about the aesthetic and cost implications for each type. There are several different types of fillings that can be used to fill a cavity, but the final decision on which type of filling is placed in your mouth is yours alone.
How Fillings Are Done
To fill a cavity, your dentist may first give you "freezing" (or local anesthetic), so you do not feel any pain. Your dentist then takes out all traces of decay, shapes the hole and fills it. Most fillings are done in two ways:
Direct Filling – These fillings go right into the cavity, after your dentist has cleaned out the decay. Amalgam (or silver) fillings and plastic (or white) fillings are examples of direct fillings. They harden quickly. Most of the time, you will be able to have a direct filling put in place in one appointment.
Indirect Filling – Examples of this type of filling are crowns (or caps) and inlays. They are custom made in a lab to fit your tooth. Your dentist cements the filling in place. Most indirect fillings take two or more appointments to complete.
Remember, your dentist at Downtown Georgetown Dental is interested in you and your oral health. If you are concerned about having any particular dental restorative materials placed in your teeth, talk to your dentist and be a partner in decisions about your oral health care.
Composite fillings are also called plastic or white fillings. Getting this kind of filling depends on where the tooth is in your mouth. We bite down hard on our back teeth (molars), so a plastic filling may not be a good choice. Talk to your dentist about other options.
To place this filling, your dentist cleans all decay from the tooth and puts a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the hole. Composite resin is put into the hole in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that your dentist holds over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, your dentist shapes the filling so it looks and feels natural.
Glass Ionomer Materials
Glass ionomer materials are only used in teeth where you do not bite down hard. There have not been many studies about how long this kind of filling lasts. Newer forms of the filling may be stronger and last longer. Research is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of these materials.
Porcelain materials are the most common type of dental ceramic used by dentists. They are hard and brittle. Porcelain and metal can be combined to make a strong, tooth-coloured crown.
Dental porcelain is made in a dental lab. Unless you have a bad tooth-grinding habit or some other problem, a combination of porcelain and metal can be used anywhere in the mouth.