Fillings – What is It?
Decay is not the only reason you may need a filling. Cracked or broken teeth, or teeth that are worn from unusual use — such as nail-biting, tooth grinding or using your teeth to open things — may also need fillings.
Because of advances in dental adhesives, many cosmetic techniques can be done with less preparation (cutting) of the tooth’s enamel structure. Older dental materials were held in place by the shape of the tooth, so dentists had to remove more of the tooth enamel to make sure that a filling would remain securely in place. However, the dental adhesives used today are very strong and can hold a filling in place without the need to cut away as much of the tooth surface. We decide what type of filling you will need. It might be bonded composite resin or porcelain inlays or onlays.
Once all the decay is removed, we will shape the space to prepare it for the filling. If the cavity is small the bonded composite resins are an option. The composite, tooth-colored fillings pick up stains, and yellow or darken over time. When you chew, your teeth and any fillings in them are subjected to tremendous pressures, some fillings might wear out over time.
If we are placing a bonded filling, we will etch (prepare) the tooth with an acid gel before placing the filling. Etching makes tiny holes in the tooth’s enamel surface, which allows the filling material to bond tightly to the tooth. Bonded fillings can reduce sensitivity and reduce the risk of leakage or decay under the filling because the etched surface of the tooth and the filling material form a mechanical bond.
Finally, after the filling is placed, we will use burs to finish and polish the tooth.