Types of fillings
The type of filling that’s right for you will depend on a number of factors, including your insurance, budget and the extent of your tooth decay. During your initial visit with our office, we’ll evaluate your unique situation and help you determine which of the following filling materials is in your best interest:
- Silver amalgam. This material is what many people visualize when they think of dental fillings. Silver fillings are strong and inexpensive, however they’re also a very dark color that is highly visible to the eye.
- Composite. A mixture of acrylic resin and glass, composite fillings are tooth-colored restorations that are highly durable and create a virtually invisible repair. They also allow us to preserve more of your natural tooth structure when compared to silver amalgam fillings.
- Glass ionomers. Glass ionomers are also tooth-colored dental fillings. They’re composed of acrylic and glass powders and tend to wear when placed on chewing surfaces. As such, they’re usually used to treat small areas of decay in between the teeth or on the tooth roots.
- Porcelain. In using porcelain to treat decay, we place veneers, inlays, onlays and crowns on damaged teeth. A more expensive option, porcelain restorations mimic the appearance of natural tooth enamel and are extremely long-lasting.
What to expect when you receive a dental filling
In most cases, tooth decay is identified during a routine dental check-up. That’s why it’s so important to keep your appointments with our office, so we can identify any cavities as quickly as possible – before they progress and do substantial damage to your teeth. During these visits, we will collect x-rays of your mouth and carefully evaluate those images, along with your actual teeth, for decay. If mild to moderate decay is present, we will treat the damage with a dental filling.
To begin, we will prepare your tooth to receive the filling by using a specialized device to clear away the decay and eliminate any infected areas. We will then place the filling material of your choice, which is usually a tooth-colored composite filling for the majority of our Northridge & Woodland Hills patients. Once the filling has been placed, we’ll ensure it fits perfectly before hardening the material and finalizing the repair.