What are Dental Fillings?
Cavity fillings are designed to restore a decayed tooth. When a tooth is decayed enough to have a cavity, it becomes misshapen and can no longer perform as a functional part of the mouth. Drilling out a cavity and replacing it with a filling can protect the tooth and prevent further decay. Fillings come in a variety of different materials, so we always ensure that our patients understand their choices before having a cavity filled.
Most metal fillings are made of an amalgam, or a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. Roughly half of this mixture is mercury, which is a point of controversy in the dental community today. Some patients are allergic to mercury, and they may not know it until it’s too late.
Metal fillings are also much more visible in the patient’s mouth since they cannot be matched to the color of the tooth. Because metal fillings are so hard, they do not easily fit into an existing hole in the tooth. The dentist often has to carve away a significant pocket to fit a metal filling in a tooth.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are ideal for patients who want a cavity filled that will be as unnoticeable as possible. Composite resin is made of plastic and can be matched to the color of the tooth, which makes it difficult to tell if a cavity has been filled. The materials are mixed and inserted into the tooth. Once there, they harden and become solid, essentially becoming a new part of the tooth because composite resin bonds as it hardens.
Since these fillings are inserted as a liquid and do not harden until they have been applied to the tooth, the material is more flexible and requires less drilling. We even use an especially fast-drying composite resin to minimize the patient’s time in the chair. Overall, composite resin is becoming the industry standard for cavity fillings.
Over time, fillings can wear out. This may simply be erosion of the filling, or the filling might crack or tear. As soon as a filling becomes too worn, it needs to be addressed with a dentist. The problem will get worse over time, and there are financing options available to help patients get service when they need it. Many patients want to get old metal fillings replaced with composite resin.
Fillings at All Smiles Dental
When you need a dentist in NYC to take care of your cavities, contact All Smiles Dental. We’re an industry leader with many years of dental experience, and we will provide you with cutting-edge care. Our dentists always have your best interest in mind and make sure you feel comfortable during your visits. Make an appointment online today so you can get the best dental treatment in New York City.