Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings restore teeth damaged by decay. The filling material is made of tooth colored composite resin material to match the natural tooth color. A curing light bonds the filling to the tooth’s structure and the dentist reshapes the tooth. With direct fillings, the chosen material is immediately used to fill the cavity. With indirect fillings, the dentist takes an impression of the mouth and restorations are created. Indirect fillings are done as either inlays (performed when the tooth needs repaired within the cusps or bumps of the tooth) or onlays (covers the entire chewing surface to protect the cusps on the surface).

Ideal candidates for dental fillings are patients with older, damaged fillings or a tooth that is chipped, cracked or broken. In addition, people with a large gap between two teeth and someone who does not want a crown on their tooth are good candidates. Dental fillings are also a good option for patients that do not want a filling that is gold or metal.

The cost of dental fillings varies according to the type of filling, the filling material and the number of teeth being treated. In general, the cost of fillings is $250 to $1500 and dental insurance may cover a portion of the cost.

Direct fillings are hardened and ready to chew on before the patient even leaves the dental office. Patients can resume all activities immediately after this type of filling. Patients with indirect fillings can eat or drink after the treatment but they should not bite on anything hard. While direct filling results are immediate, indirect filling results are usually not immediate since it may take a second appointment before the restoration is ready. Direct fillings last between 7 to 10 years and indirect fillings last 10 to 15 years. The filling material cannot develop cavities but decay that forms on the natural tooth, along the filling, can cause it to weaken.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

submitted on   Mon Dec, 07, 2015 by Les Latner, DDS     
Dental caries, popularly known as tooth decay, is the destruction of tooth structure as a result of bacterial activity in the mouth. The specific microorganism involved in the process of decay is called Streptococcus mutans. This bacterium has the ability to generate acid that dissolves tooth enamel....

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