When your dentist finds a cavity, they'll remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill the remaining hole with artificial materials. This standard procedure, known as a dental filling, can also be used to repair broken, cracked, or worn down teeth. If you're scheduled for a filling, learn more about the procedure and the options available to you below.
What Are the Different Types of Filling Materials?
The filling material most often used by dentists is composite resin. These durable fillings match the natural color of teeth and can last up to 15 years with proper oral hygiene. Since the resin starts as a paste, it fits the shape of the cavity perfectly, returning the function of the damaged tooth while looking completely natural.
Another common filling material is amalgam, which is made of a mixture of different metals, including silver, mercury, and tin. Amalgam fillings are popular with dental patients who prefer more durable, less expensive tooth repair. The only downside to this option is that it doesn't match the tooth's natural color and may affect the appearance of your smile, depending on the location of your cavity.
What Happens During a Tooth Filling Procedure?
No matter which type of material you choose, the filling procedure begins with your dentist cleaning out the decayed part of your tooth. If you've chosen composite resin, they'll then apply layers of the paste, each of which is hardened with ultraviolet light. Amalgam fillings are mixed beforehand and then pressed into the hole in your tooth. Your dentist will carve it into a shape that'll match the contours of your bite.
Have your cavity filled with the material of your choice at Apex Dental Care in Issaquah, WA. These dentists have been restoring the smiles of King County residents since 2002. Their highly trained and qualified team uses state-of-the-art techniques in every dental procedure they complete. Find out more about what makes this practice a community favorite by visiting their website. To make your first appointment, call (425) 837-0383 today.