Cavity Treatment And Prevention
Traditionally, cavities in the teeth have been “filled” with a silver amalgam, a combination of metals and mercury formed into an alloy. The amalgam is soft when placed and hardens as it sets. These fillings served us well for many decades but with newer material options that are healthier, cleaner, and more aesthetic, amalgam is rarely used. Silver fillings have been shown to leak over time and cause cracking of the teeth as they expand and contract at a different rate than natural tooth enamel. When these fillings leak they can turn the tooth gray and can decay under the filling.
We use a composite resin for all cavity fillings, as our cavity treatment and prevention. These bio-compatible materials provide the strength, durability, aesthetics, and seal needed for restoring teeth. These materials look natural and have excellent longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are composite fillings?
Composite is a tooth colored putty-like material that is set and hardened with a special light. First the decay is cleaned out of the tooth. The tooth is then prepared by using an etchant to chemically roughen the surface of the enamel, allowing for a better bond to the tooth structure. A desensitizer material is applied over the surface and then a liquid bond is applied. The composite material is then placed and shaped into the cavity space. The material may be placed in small layers to allow for better setting, less shrinkage, and hardening of the material. The light is applied to each layer. Once the cavity is filled, Dr. Weisbard shapes and contours the surface to restore the natural contours of the tooth. After checking the bite and the contacts between the teeth, the new restoration is given a final polish. Dr. Weisbard is highly skilled in the placement of these cavity fillings, which become virtually undetectable. Ask to see additional examples of her artistic work!
How long do composite fillings last?
Composite restorations have improved dramatically over the past 10 years. Improved strength and durability, combined with superior aesthetics and health has made composite fillings a first choice for small to medium fillings. These cavity fillings can last 15 years or more.
Can you get decay under a composite filling?
It is always possible to get decay under any restoration. However, with good home care and regular dental cleanings and exams, this can be minimized and detected early.