When a tooth has a cavity, many times a dental filling can be used to repair the tooth. At Whispering Pines Dental, in Lorain, Ohio, Dr. Julie Pruneski places composite resin fillings that have a natural tooth color. We are a mercury-free office and as such do not place the silver amalgam fillings.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite fillings are a great way to restore your teeth because they bond directly to teeth and provide added strength that damaged teeth need to withstand biting pressure. Composite fillings can match the color of your natural teeth to preserve your beautiful, natural-looking smile.
To place composite fillings, Dr. Julie Pruneski will make sure the tooth and surrounding area is thoroughly numb. A handpiece will be used to remove all of the decay and shape the tooth. We then apply a gel that chemically etches the tooth surface to ensure a stronger bond. The tooth is then surrounded with a flexible band so we may mold the filling to the shape of the tooth. Once we’ve placed the composite in the tooth, we use a harmless, high-intensity light to cure the filling. After the filling has set, we smooth and polish it. Finally, we will check your bite to ensure that the teeth are touching properly and we make sure you’ll be able to floss around the filling.
When a tooth is painful due to decay, or when a tooth’s nerve becomes inflamed, a sedative filling can be an effective, short-term treatment. The filling soothes and protects the tooth until it is ready for the final restoration.
Sedative fillings contain a mild pain reliever and an element that has disinfecting properties. The procedure for placing a sedative filling is similar to a more permanent composite filling. Dr. Julie Pruneski will numb the area and utilize a handpiece to remove the decay and shape the tooth. Next, we will place the sedative filling material into the tooth and then have you bite down to adjust the height of the filling. The material will harden over the next several hours to become waterproof and seal out bacteria.
As sedative fillings are temporary, they cannot protect your tooth for the long term. We will need to reserve you an appointment to place a final restoration when the pain and inflammation in the tooth have calmed down.
Failing Amalgam Fillings
We are a mercury-free office, so we do not place silver amalgam fillings. However, we do find many older amalgam fillings will eventually fail and need to be replaced. We consider a filling to be failing when it no longer seals out bacteria and allows them to infect the inner layers of the tooth. When we discover a failing amalgam filling, it’s important to replace it with another restoration as soon as possible to protect your tooth. Depending on the size of the amalgam filling, it may be possible to place a composite resin filling, inlay/onlay, or if the filling is large a crown may be required. After doing a thorough exam, we will recommend the best restoration for your tooth.