Dental fillings are used to fill a lack of tooth structure in a tooth, whether that be the result of a cavity, dental trauma, or some other form of damage. Fillings, which come in various durable and aesthetic materials, can restore the health of a damaged tooth and is very effective at treating early-stage tooth decay.
We do this by drilling out the decay inside the tooth and filling the missing portion of the tooth with dental materials like composite resin or amalgam. This restores the appearance and function of the tooth.
Once you come in for a consultation with Dr. Annese, he will examine your teeth and take x-rays to get a closer look at the damage to your teeth. A determination will be made based on this oral exam as to whether or not a filling is a suitable treatment to repair your teeth.
If decay has already penetrated past the enamel and reached the soft inside layer of your tooth known as the dental pulp, you could have an infection that requires more invasive treatment. Then, we’ll administer a local anesthetic so your mouth is completely numb and any work done to your tooth is painless.
Using a dental drill, we drill away any tooth decay that’s present in the tooth. If you are receiving a tooth-colored filling, we use a shade guide to match the filling shade to your natural teeth.
Then, the tooth is etched and the composite resin is applied in layers, then cured with UV light to instantly harden. Amalgam fillings are applied and shaped to the tooth. These fillings take up to 24 hours to completely harden.
This depends on the filling material used, the location of the tooth, and lifestyle. On average, composite fillings last for 5 to 7 years while amalgam fillings can last for 15. These two types of fillings are great for addressing different problems.
If you have a severely damaged or decayed molar, then an amalgam filling would be much more suitable because of its strength and durability. It can withstand much more force than composite fillings. However, amalgam fillings are silver in appearance, which is why patients usually have them placed in the back of the mouth.
When it comes to filling the front teeth, composite fillings are much more suitable because they are tooth-colored and offer superior aesthetics. They are not as durable as amalgam fillings, which is why they will not last as long in the rear teeth that are used for chewing.
Yes, most dental insurance policies will cover dental filling as a minimally invasive procedure that prevents serious oral health problems and more invasive and costly treatment. Usually, this is covered at about 50 to 80%. The best way to find out what your insurance will cover is to contact them directly. Contact us at Nashoba Valley Dental to schedule a consultation with Dr. Matthew Annese.