What’s the Point of a Dental Filling?

woman amazedWhether as a child, teen, or adult, there’s a good chance you may have received a dental filling at some point in your life. After all, the cavities that they’re meant to treat are the most common dental health issue, affecting over 90% of adults in at least one of their permanent teeth. As the name suggests, a dental filling is a manmade material, usually metal amalgam or tooth-colored composite resin, that’s molded into the cavity (hole) caused by tooth decay. By restoring the empty space, the dental filling helps reestablish the tooth’s strength while protecting its interior from further infection.

The Need for Dental Fillings

Dental fillings typically treat mild to moderate cavities that are caused by tooth decay—a condition that erodes your natural tooth structure. Because a decaying tooth usually aches, most patients seek treatment in time for a dental filling to suffice. However, if the infection progresses far enough, it can reach the more sensitive inner tissues and require a more extensive treatment, such as a root canal procedure. In extreme cases, the tooth might not be saved, and could require an extraction.

A Filling That Doesn’t Look Like a Filling

Metal amalgam, a mixture of tin, copper, silver, mercury, and other metals, has long been a favorite for dental fillings because of its ability to withstand the pressures of biting and chewing. Still, the material’s not as popular for its metallic appearance, which can clash with the pearly white hue of your teeth. As an alternative, Dr. Pizzi and Dr. Messina may recommend tooth-colored composite resin, which blends in with the tint of your teeth to create a more discreet restoration.

ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY DENTISTS:

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.