As you probably know, fillings are the most common and effective way to treat dental cavities. These restorations can save the healthy portion of your tooth and preserve your overall oral health. Dr. Stephen K. Malone and Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr. use natural-looking composite fillings at our Knoxville, Tennessee practice.
The Importance of Dental Fillings
A cavity begins when bacteria and sugars interact to form acid. This acid will erode your dental enamel, allowing bacteria and associated acid to access the underlying layers of your tooth. Without treatment, the decay will continue to spread and could eventually destroy your entire tooth. The infection also could move below your gum line, spread to the tooth’s roots and even impact surrounding teeth and their supporting gum tissue and bone. The filling procedure will eradicate bacteria and also strengthen the outer walls of your tooth to restore your dental function.
The Filling Procedure
Before placing a filling, we will use local anesthetic to numb your tooth and surrounding gum tissue. Then he will remove all bacteria and damaged material, and he will clean out the inside of your tooth. If decay extends close to your dental root, he may line the inside of the cavity. Composite resin comes in a range of tints, and the color that is most similar to the natural shade of your smile will be chosen. To ensure a strong and long-lasting bond, he will lightly etch the inside of your tooth, and he will apply a bonding agent.
Then he will place the composite filling layer by layer. When he has completely filled in the cavity, he will use a curing light to harden the material. Finally, he will trim and polish the filling to give it a highly lifelike appearance.
Do you have old amalgam fillings?
Our Baby Boomer patients will recall that in their early years, fillings were made of metal, including gold and silver amalgam. Although these materials will strengthen your teeth and stop bacteria from spreading, the appearance of composite resin is virtually indistinguishable from your natural dental material. Additionally, composite will bond with your tooth better than metal and does not expand and contract like metal does. Thus, composite fillings can more effectively prevent future dental damage. Many patients have their silver amalgam fillings replaced with composite for esthetic reasons or because the older fillings no longer protect their teeth well.
We invite you to schedule an appointment for all your oral health care needs.
Drs. Malone and Costa provide compassionate dental care to individuals and families living in the Knoxville communities of Powell, Karns, Farragut, Seymour, Maryville, Oak Ridge and the surrounding areas. We provide the full range of dental services you and your family might need. Call today!