Fillings are used to resolve cavities in a safe and effective way. There are several materials used in fillings today, with one of the most popular being tooth-colored composite fillings that match the color of your other teeth. Dr. Gerald A. Cioffi at Gerald A. Cioffi DMD, PA in Orange Park, Florida, is a comprehensive dentist and oral medicine specialist who's ready to help you beat tooth decay today.
When a tooth is decayed, the decayed tissue is removed from the tooth first. This is done either with a laser which doesn't require local anesthesia or under local anesthesia, so you won't be in pain. The filling is then placed into the area vacated by the decayed tissue. The filling is bonded into place, and your tooth is then strengthened and protected.
There are several types of fillings available, including:
In the past, direct and indirect gold fillings and silver/mercury amalgam fillings were common. Today, modern direct bonded resin fillings are state of the art. Resin fillings are shade matched to your natural tooth color and are durable and long lasting.
Tooth-colored bonded composite fillings are designed to blend in seamlessly with the natural teeth. Others won't even know you have them, even if they’re in your more visible front teeth. Tooth-colored composite fillings have a shorter lifespan than silver amalgam or gold fillings.
Ceramic fillings are crafted from porcelain. Porcelain matches the natural teeth well, and it's highly resistant to stains. Ceramic fillings typically last for a long time -- at least 15 years -- but that added longevity usually comes with a higher cost.
You may notice an increase in sensitivity after you get a new filling. This is normal and usually lasts for no longer than a couple of weeks. Over-the-counter pain medication is usually sufficient to alleviate any discomfort. It's best to skip sticky, chewy, or crunchy foods for a day or two to allow your new filling time to settle in.