Filling cavities with dental material is one of the oldest dental practices in existence. It is believed that the first filling ever was done with beeswax in the Neolithic period thousands of years ago!
Let’s talk about how much dental fillings have changed since then.
What are fillings for?
Fillings are done to restore a tooth after removing tooth decay, repair worn down teeth, fix small cracks or chips, or tooth abrasions. A filling will restore your tooth back to its normal function, but can wear down over time making home care and regular dental check-ups important.
Dental filling materials:
There are many different materials that can be used for dental fillings with amalgam and composite being among the most highly used.
Dr. Blackhurst uses a resin material to restore teeth called composite. This composite material bonds better than amalgam to the tooth, holding it together, and making it less likely to crack or break. Composite is also the same shade as your natural tooth giving a better finished cosmetic look.
Amalgam (silver colored) fillings are not bonded to the teeth and can pull away from the tooth over time causing decay, cracking, and broken teeth. Amalgam also expands and contracts differently than your tooth and over time can cause the same issues to arise. This can lead to more expensive dental treatments such as crowns and root canal treatments if not addressed. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Blackhurst in his Midvale office to have your amalgam fillings evaluated for cracking or gaps between your tooth and the amalgam.
The filling process:
First and foremost is patient comfort. Dr. Blackhurst uses an anesthetic to make sure there is no pain during the procedure. An important part of the process is to remove any existing tooth decay before the filling is placed, so Dr. Blackhurst will take the time to be very thorough in cleaning and preparing the tooth to ensure a perfectly fitting and permanent filling. Finally the composite is placed, and cured with the curing light. This part of the process is generally quick and after a few seconds under the light, the composite will harden and bond to the surrounding tooth to protect it. Dr. Blackhurst will then smooth and contour the composite filling making sure that your bite is correct, followed by polishing the composite filling to make sure that your tooth feels smooth.