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Sean M. Smith, DDS
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
It’s great news that the incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness. However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection, and breakage and sometimes need to be restored back to health. Through improved techniques and modern technology, we are now able to offer more options for restoring a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function.
Should your teeth ever require fillings, you can rest assured knowing we will always discuss the available options with you and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment. Providing you with excellent care is our number one priority when restoring your beautiful smile.
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.
Traditional filling material used to treat and restore decayed teeth. Largely the material of choice for both strength, longevity, and least costly, amalgam (or silver) fillings have been used successfully for over the last 150 years world wide.
Gold fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are composed of an alloy of gold, copper and other metals.
This type of dental filling is usually considered the most durable, lasting 20 years or more, but it is also the most costly. Gold fillings also require more than one office visit to place because they require impressions to manufacture at a dental laboratory.
Direct placement of gold is a restoration called a gold foil. These types of dental restorations are infrequently performed and are usually used for small fillings. Gold foils can be placed in one visit, just like an amalgam or composite filling.
Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:
brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
eating a balanced diet
visiting the dentist regularly.