The Dentist Place

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White and silver fillings as well as tooth bonding are common procedures performed by our Doctors. Modern dentistry has allowed us the pleasure of combining beauty as well as strength when filling teeth. We take pride in "restoring" teeth to as close to their original strength and appearance with composite resins and ceramics. Since patient comfort is top priority, our clinical staff and doctors go the extra mile to make coming to the dentist a whole new positive experience.

Composite Fillings

For over 150 years, cavities were filled with a mixture of metals, including silver and mercury. It was perfectly normal to see dark grey areas in someone's mouth when they laughed.

But today, you can get your cavities, as well as any other smaller hollow areas in your teeth, filled with composite fillings. Composite fillings are made from resins that are matched to your tooth's color - so they become invisible when applied.

Composite fillings also provide an excellent seal on the affected area, so that tooth decay can be prevented. The factors that go into our decision to use composite fillings include:

  • The size of the area that needs to be filled
  • The location of the affected area in the mouth (i.e., a tooth that is heavily relied on for chewing)
  • Allergies the patient might have
  • The preference of the patient regarding the use of metals in the mouth
  • Whether it is necessary cosmetically to have a tooth-colored filling

Tooth Is More Sensitive To Hot & Cold

Increased sensitivity following having a tooth filled is normal. If the filling isn't large, the sensitivity will decrease after several weeks. If the filled tooth had been extensively decayed necessitating a fairly large filling, the sensitivity could last several months. For the first several days following the filling, some Dentists recommend that you try taking an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen. Do NOT place an aspirin on your tooth or gum, because aspirin is an acid and can cause burns. In the event your pain persists, call your Dentist.

Eating After A Tooth Filling

You can eat 30 minutes after the anesthesia wears off. If you attempt to eat sooner, you risk biting your jaw or tongue. It is advisable to avoid chewing on the side where silver fillings were placed for at least two hours to provide the fillings an opportunity to harden.

Silver vs White Fillings

If white fillings are strongly preferred and your dentist does not or will not use them, you might want to seek a second opinion.

Why Not Exclusively Use Silver Fillings

Although insurance programs provide for higher costs of silver fillings, tooth-colored materials may serve you better. Because a tooth-colored filling material can be bonded onto a decayed tooth, there is less need to cut away healthy parts of a tooth to make the filling stay in place. Only a specific area of the tooth that is decayed will be removed and then the filling, which is very adaptable to small and irregularly shaped defects in the tooth, is bonded onto the tooth. A silver filling, on the other hand, usually requires that the tooth be prepared so it has the precise shape and size needed to hold the filling material. Since a silver filling cannot bond to a tooth, solid tooth structure is usually sacrificed to make the filling remain in place. It is not desirable to cut away healthy parts of a tooth that is expected to last for 60-80 years, or longer. Thus, your choice of filling materials will have long-term consequences.

Fillings & Alzheimer's Disease

In a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers at the University of Kentucky found that there was no connection between Alzheimer's disease and the mercury used in dental fillings.

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