One of the most common dental restorations is the filling. Since only a tiny percentage of humans will avoid tooth decay during their lifetime, most people need a filling at some point. While years past left us with dark amalgam fillings, today we have a safe, non-metal, tooth-colored material called composite resin.
Tooth-Colored Composite Resins
Your smile’s white, natural appearance is important for your self-esteem and the impression you convey to others. Composite fillings allow you to keep that all-white smile, even after having cavities. To place a filling, Dr. Chin removes decay, then fills the prepared cavity with a liquid composite resin tinted to match your tooth structure. A soft curing light hardens the resin, then Dr. Chin shapes and polishes the restoration and assess how it fits with opposing teeth. He’ll make adjustments, if necessary. The entire process takes just one visit.
Will you need anesthetic? Some cavities are superficial, meaning they are only on the tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, and don’t extend into the dentin, which is the more sensitive underlying layer. A superficial cavity may be filled without administering anesthetic. A cavity that has affected the dentin, however, requires anesthetic so that you can remain comfortable during treatment. When tooth decay permeates a tooth’s nerve, or inner canal, root canal treatment may be suggested.
After the Filling
After a filling is placed, your tooth may be tender for a few hours, or even a few days. This is to be expected. Dr. Chin may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, if necessary. After a few days, however, your filling should look, feel, and function like part of your natural tooth.
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