Some of us are simply unlucky. Despite vigilant brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups, we still get to experience our dentist utter the unpleasant sentence to us that makes our stomachs drop: “I see you have a cavity.” If you have been told that you have tooth decay, it’s understandable to be a little bit upset about it. Nobody likes to have a cavity filled, but fortunately, a filling can be completed in typically one sitting with minimal downtime. While we here at Ranches Family Dental understand that you’re probably feeling upset and resentful about needing a dental filling, we want to reassure you that it’s a routine, painless procedure that can preserve the appearance and longevity of your tooth.
Amalgam and Composite Resin: The Two Main Types of Filling Materials
We understand: you hate our drill. Even the name “drill” conjures up the unpleasant sound it makes, which is why we also like to call it our “handpiece.” The fact of the matter is, however, that our dental drill is a vital tool in treating your oral health.
While our handpiece is admittedly noisy and shrill, we take great measures to ensure that you do not experience a single iota of pain while we’re drilling your tooth. If, at any point, during the procedure, you do experience even the slightest amount of pain, please let us know. We can administer more anesthetic to you to prevent your discomfort. As far as the noise goes, you’re more than welcome to bring your headphones or even some earplugs to help minimize the noise!
Many of our patients become alarmed when they’re informed that their tooth decay is on a front tooth. They may be concerned about the impact a filling would have on the appearance of their smile. The good news is that, depending on the location and the severity of your cavity, we have different materials that we can use to help repair your tooth.
When people think of fillings, this is the type that most likely pops into mind. Shiny and silver, these fillings are great for your back teeth. They don’t chip or wear down easily and - despite their bad reputation - they’re very safe. The downside of getting amalgam, though, is that it can expand and contract with exposure to heat. This can lead to damage and weakening of your tooth.
Composite Resin Fillings
For patients who have tooth decay on their front teeth, composite resin is exactly what they need to treat the tooth decay while still lending a natural appearance to your smile. The quartz and glass material in composite resin can be dyed to match your surrounding teeth, making this an easy choice for patients who have decay on visible teeth. Composite resin only lasts about ten years, though, and is fragile and can be easily chipped.
Other patients occasionally choose gold or porcelain for their fillings. Gold is the strongest material we can use, but it’s quite noticeable and best for back teeth. Porcelain is less likely to stain when compared to composite resin, but of all the materials we could use, it’s the most brittle.
If you have tooth decay, try to relax and stay calm! We want you to feel at ease in our office and will go out of our way to ensure your comfort. If you’re ready to schedule your dental exam, or you just have questions about dental fillings, please give us a call here at Ranches Family Dental at (385) 374-0500 to set up your appointment with a cleaning and, if required, a consultation for dental fillings.