Nobody likes to learn that they have tooth decay, and being told you need a dental filling can certainly be more than a little bit alarming. It's understandable to be frustrated and a little worried when we tell you that you'll need to have a filling put in your tooth, but fillings are a very routine procedure and can blend seamlessly in with your existing teeth, dispelling any preconceived notions about how they may impact your appearance. They're a great option for preserving damaged teeth, and depending on the location of your tooth decay, we here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry can help you decide what type of filling is best for your specific dental concerns.
What Kind of Filling is Best for Me?
Probably the first thing out of a patient's mouth when we tell them that they need a filling is an anxious, "Is it going to hurt?" The second question we frequently hear is, "Will my filling look unattractive?"
First off, no, you will not experience pain during your cavity filling; having a cavity filled is a virtually pain-free procedure. Before we start, we'll thoroughly numb the area with a topical analgesic. The worst you may feel is the small pinch from the needle. If you experience any discomfort during the filling, please let us know right away. Your comfort is extremely important to us.
As far as cosmetic considerations go, we offer several different options to our patients. Depending on where your tooth decay is, we can offer a filling that matches your existing teeth, making it entirely unnoticeable.
The two main types of fillings that you may encounter at our office are:
||Amalgam fillings. Also called silver amalgam, these metal fillings are a reliable option for teeth that are not generally visible, such as your back molars. They are resistant to wear, and erosion and are entirely safe. While some people may have concerns about the small amount of mercury in it, time and again studies have proven both their safety and efficacy. Mercury, when mixed with other metals, is highly stable and all reputable health-based organizations wholly endorse amalgam.
||Composite resin fillings. Composite fillings are an excellent choice for people who have tooth decay on their front, more visible teeth. While they do not have the same bite strength as amalgam fillings, these fillings are comprised of a combination of quartz or glass and plastic, allowing them to match the color of your teeth. They do start to chip or erode over time (usually lasting up to ten years) and can become stained by coffee or tobacco, but they are natural looking and a great option for patients concerned about appearances.
Other filling types are porcelain (ceramic) and gold. Porcelain fillings are more resistant to stains when compared to composite, but they're more brittle and don't last as long. Gold fillings are the most durable type, but they are highly visible and not ideal for patients who are going for a natural look.
If it turns out that you have tooth decay, then try not to stress needlessly over it. The trained and professional staff here at Wendy Sanger DMD Cosmetic + Family Dentistry will work with you to help you decide what type of filling is best for you. Please give us a call today at (908) 647-4441 to schedule your dental appointment and, if you have any questions for us about dental fillings, please feel free to ask! We're happy to answer them for you.