Fillings are the number one procedure in dentistry. It is hard to find an adult who does not have a filling. Cavities occur when food particles react with the bacteria in the mouth, forming a chemical compound that attacks the structure of the tooth. Over time the areas become weaker and areas of decay (also known as ‘caries’) form on the tooth. Caries is soft and full of bacteria that eat away at essential tooth structure. To maintain the health of the tooth, the caries must be removed, leaving the tooth with an open area that must be rebuilt or filled. The materials and method used for a filling depend greatly on the size and location of the cavity.
Direct Teeth Fillings
Dental fillings are the number one procedure in dentistry. It is hard to find an adult that does not have a filling.
For a small or medium sized cavity, we recommend the use of direct filling. A tooth colored composite material is applied directly to the tooth and hardened using a special light. Direct fillings can typically be completed during a single appointment. It is important to note that composite material is a plastic formulation, which can eventually discolor or lose elasticity. With time, cavities can reoccur around existing fillings or restorations.
Porcelain Tooth Fillings
For large size cavity, we recommend porcelain indirect fillings, known as an onlay or an inlay. These restorations are stronger, have more structural stability, remain consistent in color and are more biocompatible. We utilize a material called E-Max, a porcelain that is very durable and has excellent aesthetics. They require two appointments; the first will be to prepare the cavity, make the impression and place a temporary. The second appointment will be the cementation of the porcelain filling that our in-house laboratory has fabricated. The results are magnificent.
For patients who are not troubled by the color, gold can be used to create a highly durable and functional restoration on teeth such as the first and second molar.