Dental Fillings in Orlando
At Elite Dentistry
At Elite Dentistry, we specialize in tooth-colored composite fillings in Orlando. Whether you believe you may have a cavity and think you need a new filling or you’re interested in replacing old, worn-out metal amalgam fillings, Dr. Mark Ashy is here to help. Come in for a consultation today to learn how we can repair cavities with beautiful, natural-looking composite fillings!
What Are The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored composite fillings have a number of benefits. First, they are much more aesthetically-pleasing. You’ll get better cosmetic results with a composite filling compared to an amalgam filling. This is because we can match the color of your filling to your tooth, ensuring a seamless result. In contrast, metal amalgam fillings have a grayish appearance that discolors your tooth.
In addition, tooth-colored fillings have some benefits for your dental health. They bond very tightly to your tooth, which strengthens it and ensures it can stand up to the force of repeated chewing. Tooth-colored fillings also require the removal of less enamel compared to metal fillings.
Finally, tooth-colored fillings are free of mercury. While the mercury in metal amalgam fillings has been shown to be safe, the fact remains that mercury is a toxic substance, and some patients are not comfortable with having mercury in their mouths. Whether you need a new filling or want an old metal amalgam filling replaced, Elite Dentistry is here to help.
How Do I Know If I Should Get My Amalgam Filling Replaced?
Some patients do opt to have metal fillings removed proactively. However, in most cases, there is no need to replace an amalgam filling unless it has failed, or it’s showing signs of failure. If you suspect that your amalgam filling may be failing, there are a few things you should look out for.
You may notice increased sensitivity near the affected tooth, which could indicate that the process of tooth decay has begun underneath the filling. Your filling may also look visibly worn-down or look like it has pulled away from the tooth somewhat.
The best way to know if you need to replace your filling is with an oral exam at Elite Dentistry. The early signs of filling failure can be nearly impossible to detect on your own. Regular six-month appointments allow us to track the integrity of your fillings, and know when they need to be replaced.
The Filling Replacement Process
We use SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) practices when removing your metal amalgam filling to prevent exposure to this toxic substance. The process will begin by cutting the old filling into chunks using a dental drill. These pieces will be removed to expose the underlying tooth material.
Once your filling has been removed, it will need to be replaced. Dr. Ashy will prepare your tooth, select a tooth-colored composite material, and apply it to rebuild the structure of your tooth. After your filling has been built and shaped, your bite will be checked. If everything looks good, you’ll be sent home with your brand-new, tooth-colored filling.
Does It Hurt to Get a Dental Filling?
Getting a filling is a completely painless procedure. Before we do any drilling on your tooth to remove decay, we administer local anesthesia which completely numbs your mouth so you don’t feel any discomfort. You may feel the pressure of tools moving around in your mouth but won’t feel any pain.
During your recovery in the few days following your dental filling procedure, your tooth may feel slightly sore from removing the decay once the anesthetic has worn off. This soreness is typically very mild but you may take anti-inflammatory pain medication for relief. You may also experience some tooth sensitivity in the next few days when eating hot or cold foods or when your teeth are exposed to air.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
Tooth-colored fillings can be expected to last for at least 5 years but commonly last for more than 10 with proper care. While tooth-colored fillings aren’t as durable as metal fillings, they are mercury-free and blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth, unlike the relatively unappealing look of metal fillings.
Composite fillings will last longer on teeth located at the front of the mouth which aren’t used for the majority of chewing. Dental fillings in the rear molars will likely need to be replaced sooner due to natural wear and tear.
How Do I Care for My Dental Filling?
The best way to care for your dental fillings is to practice good oral hygiene by gently brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You should floss once a day and remember to brush your tongue. Some other ways you can reduce your filling’s exposure to wear, tear, and stains are to:
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth
- Avoid chewing hard or sticky foods
- Don’t use your teeth as tools
- Avoid staining foods & drinks
- Reduce your sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Visit the dentist every 6 months
What Happens If I Don’t Get a Dental Filling?
If you don’t get a dental filling to treat a cavity, the cavity will still be there and the decay will become worse. In the early stages, a cavity is limited to the enamel layer of your tooth but if left untreated, it will penetrate deeper until it reaches the soft inside layer known as the tooth’s dental pulp.
Once your dental pulp becomes damaged, it can cause an incredibly painful infection. This infection can then spread to your other teeth or spread through your bloodstream without treatment.
You will then either need a root canal to save the tooth or will need to have the tooth extracted. Both of these procedures are much more costly and invasive than a simple dental filling that preserves the health of your natural tooth.