A filling is a way to restore a decayed tooth back to its normal shape and function.
If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, then clean the affected area and fill the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material. This filling will help prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria might enter.
Tooth colored resins, or tooth colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture. They can be used on either front or back teeth, and are a good choice for people who expect their fillings to look more natural. Additionally, because they are bonded to the tooth structure they work to reinforce the filled tooth better than metal fillings do. For these reasons we exclusively use tooth colored materials when restoring teeth with fillings.
Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are also well-tolerated. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resin fillings are custom-made to the exact color of the patient’s teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While these white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for larger fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
While restoring your child’s tooth using a white composite filling is usually the best option, there are times when a tooth may be too badly damaged to be restored using a filling. In these circumstances a crown may need to be used. A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to stop decay from spreading and prevents any further damage to the tooth.
Crowns may be made from a variety of materials that will best meet your child’s needs. We typically recommend using a less noticeable tooth colored porcelain crown when repairing a front tooth and a stainless steel crown when repairing a molar.Back