woman after fillingOur experienced dentists at Life Smile Dental Care use dental fillings made from tooth-colored composite resin to strengthen and protect teeth that have been damaged by minor to moderate tooth decay. Tooth-colored dental fillings repair uncomfortable cavities and can prevent further damage from occurring. Cavities are created when bacteria from sugary foods and drinks form an acid on the surface of the tooth. Over time, the acid can eat away at the tooth enamel, resulting in a small hole in your tooth. When this happens, it’s common to experience tooth pain, discomfort when chewing, and sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. A tooth-colored filling is also recommended for replacing old, silver amalgam fillings. The composite resin is molded over the tooth with precision to create a strong, protective shield over the damaged or severely decayed tooth.

What Is A Dental Filling?

The main purpose of a dental filling is to seal the hole created from a cavity in order to restore the structural integrity of the tooth and eliminate any discomfort. Because the early stages of enamel erosion are often undetectable, many patients are unaware that they have a cavity. Therefore, we encourage patients to attend a routine dental checkup and cleaning every six months. In some cases, our dentists can locate a cavity before you begin experiencing pain with the help of x-ray technology.

At Life Smile Dental, we use composite resin during this procedure. This material consists of a combination of glass and plastic particles and is tinted to match the shade of surrounding teeth, to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile. We understand that your smile is a big part of your appearance, so we strive to repair it to a better state than before treatment.

In cases where cavities are too large to be repaired with a filling, we recommend a dental crown to cover the damaged area. A crown is a protective cap that is permanently bonded over a tooth to completely shield and protect it from further damage.

What to Expect During Your Filling Procedure

At your dental visit, our dentists will administer a local anesthetic to numb your damaged tooth and surrounding tissues. This will ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Next, the decay will be completely removed from your tooth. We will thoroughly clean and disinfect the area, ridding it of any bacteria. Your tooth will be then be gently prepped and shaped for the composite resin.

The composite resin mixture will be tinted and gently applied over the tooth in layers. Because of its putty-like consistently, it requires specialized technique and an eye for detail. Once the mixture is applied, the dentist will use a special light to harden the material for optimum strengthen and protection. Before ending treatment, we will polish the tooth to reveal a beautifully restored smile.

At Life Smile Dental, it’s important to us that your smile remains healthy and natural-looking. Because composite resin is shade-matched to surrounding teeth, it creates realistic results and does not stand out from the rest of your teeth. Unlike silver amalgam fillings, most people will be unaware you even have a dental filling.

Prevention is Key

The best way to prevent the need for a filling is to practice good oral hygiene. A healthy mouth is less likely to develop cavities.

Brushing your teeth every morning and night will remove harmful bacteria and allow you to sleep with a clean mouth. If you have the dedication and time to do so, you can brush after each meal to effectively remove food particles and maintain an immensely healthy mouth.

Along with twice daily brushing and flossing after each meal, it’s important to attend a dental checkup and professional cleaning every six months. At these visits, our dentists will examine your mouth for signs of decay, as well as look for the presence of gum disease. A friendly dental hygienist will clean between each tooth and remove built up plaque and tartar. Your smile will appear shiny and beautiful after a professional cleaning at Life Smile Dental Care.

For more information about dental fillings and preventative dentistry, schedule an appointment today with one of our dentists. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about the entire process or how to keep your mouth healthy and beautiful. To reach our Hazelwood, MO office, call 314-433-5489.