A cavity is damage to your teeth that develops into a hole that can become larger with time. It’s not usually noticeable at first, but a cavity can quickly become painful as it grows and exposes the sensitive tissues inside your tooth.
To repair the damage, your dentist usually closes a small or medium-sized cavity with a dental filling. By filling the hole in the tooth, we prevent the decay from spreading further. It's crucial to get cavities filled as early as possible.
You can get top-quality dental care at Hometown Family Dental Centers, including fillings and cavity repairs. With offices in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina, our dental experts address your dental concerns quickly and efficiently. Protecting your health starts with taking care of your teeth.
What is a tooth filling?
A filling is a simple way to repair a cavity. Your dentist removes the decayed portion of your tooth and fills the hole with a long-lasting substance to stop further decay. A filling maintains the strength and health of your tooth.
At Hometown Family Dental Centers, we use composite or amalgam fillings. We place the filling material in the hole in its soft form and then harden it with a specialized tool. As a result, the material in the tooth adapts exactly to the shape of the hole and seals your tooth.
Amalgam fillings contain a mixture of metals such as silver, copper, and tin. They’re often called silver fillings because of their appearance. Amalgam fillings last a very long time and are quite strong.
Patients who want a discrete filling may not be ideal for amalgam fillings because their color stands out in teeth that are visible when you smile. In addition, the FDA recommends that the following populations avoid amalgam fillings, if possible and appropriate:
- Children under 6
- Nursing mothers
- Pregnant women
- People who are sensitive to mercury, copper, silver, tin, or zinc
- People with neurological impairment or kidney dysfunction
If you have amalgam fillings that are in good condition with no decay, there’s no need to remove them unless medically necessary. If you’re unsure if an amalgam filling is appropriate for you, our team is happy to help you.
Composite fillings provide an alternative to amalgam. They’re made from silica, powdered glass quartz, or other ceramic particles added to a resin base.
Your dentist bonds a composite filling directly and gently to the tooth and hardens the material under a special lamp. In the case of larger cavities or for aesthetic reasons, the composite must be introduced into the hole layer by layer, so the process takes a bit longer than getting an amalgam filling.
A composite filling can be color-matched to your tooth, which makes it possible to restore your teeth so the original defect is no longer visible. Composite fillings are resilient and suitable for filling molars.
Which filling is best for you?
Both composite and amalgam fillings are durable and long-lasting. Consider an enamel-colored composite filling if aesthetics are important to you. An amalgam filling might be your best option if you prefer a quick and affordable solution.
Every patient has different requirements and preferences in fillings. Your dentist can assist you in making the best filling decision for you. Call the closest Hometown Family Dental Centers office location, or request an appointment online.