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woman smiling teeth cleaningWhile no one likes to hear they need a filling, the process has become more advanced over the years, offering more options and comfort than ever before. If you’re one of the people who still have silver (amalgam) fillings in your mouth from years past, we can replace them with more aesthetically pleasing white fillings, made from composite materials.


What Are Fillings?

Fillings are restorations that repair and rebuild teeth harmed by cavities. After removing the damaged portion of the tooth, the filling seals out bacteria and protects the tooth so that it can function normally.

At Stonelodge dental, our team uses a composite monohybrid material that basically imitates the color, shape, translucency, and shade of the tooth. We have discontinued the use of the silver fillings, as they tend to oxidize, chip on the margins, create cracks and leak. The composite material is also much more aesthetically pleasing.

Benefits of Composite Materials

The first benefit is the ease of application, but even more important is the ability to see any recurrent decay without removing the filling. When our technician takes radiographs or infrared pictures, the composite allows us to see if there is any decay. Amalgam is much denser, and the X-rays can’t penetrate the amalgam alloy fillings, so when it’s removed, there is often undetected decay underneath.

With composite fillings, any discoloration, leakage, recurrent decay, or demineralization are easy to see in the radiograph, so they can be addressed much faster. Also, in cases where the tooth needs to be built up for more permanent restoration, like a crown, this material is preferred because it allows the tooth to maintain its natural translucent appearance. Within the dental aesthetic zone, usually the average smile opening is showing up to the second premolar, the teeth seeing within the smile that were restored with an amalgam alloy can be noticed even when they are underneath a permanent restoration like a crown.

Another benefit of composite material is that they allow the dentist to shape back the filling to the original shape of the tooth being restored because they bond chemically to the tooth, as compared with amalgam, they don’t.

Taking Care of the Cavity

man thrilled with new smileWhen you come in for care, our dentist will discuss the process of removing the decay and placing your filling. While we have information from your radiographs and oral exam, the extent of work needed may change once we look at the tooth, and we make sure our patients are aware of that fact.

The dentist outlines the goals for this procedure—determine the extent of the decay, eliminate the infected and affected part of the tooth, check the structural integrity of the remaining tooth, and make sure the new filling has the proper physical consistency. If the depth of the restoration is a larger proportion of the tooth than originally thought, a more permanent restoration may be necessary.

Your comfort is our major concern. Our chairs are equipped with controls you can access. If you need a pillow or blanket, you just need to ask; we’ll help you get as comfortable as possible. And you can watch your favorite show on TVs mounted where you can easily see them, either on the wall or the ceiling. They are there for two purposes: to demonstrate real live the xray images, intraoral pictures, or video camera of the procedure we are doing, or simply if the patient prefers to be distracted by watching TV or YouTube.

After ensuring the area around the tooth is numb, we prepare to remove the decay, going as deep as needed to get it all. The tooth is etched to receive the bonding material, and then we let it cure. Multiple composite additional layers are usually added until the restoration is complete and all materials have been cured.

The final step is to conform the material to the original shape of the tooth and occlusion contact followed by a polishing, leaving the tooth smooth especially at the junction margin of the composite restoration and the enamel of the tooth. The tongue is quite sensitive especially to new changes, and asking the patient how they feel is key.

Learn More Today

The earlier your dentist repairs your cavities, the smaller and more affordable your filling will be. Call us today!

Fillings in Mckinney, Melissa TX | (214) 613-1500