Dental fillings are by far the most common and well-known treatment for tooth decay, and most people have had at least one filling in their lifetime. Dr. Thomas Zarger and our restorative dentistry team treat tooth decay issues, and we are pleased to offer treatment options tailored to meet your needs. In many cases, a dental filling is the right course of treatment - but how do you know if it’s the right treatment for you?
What Are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a restoration used to treat mild to moderate cases of tooth decay. During treatment, your dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. After your dentist has cleaned out all decayed matter and debris, he will fill in the space with a durable material to strengthen the tooth, restore its function, and protect against further damage.
A dentist may use several filling materials, including tooth-colored composite resin, gold, or silver amalgam. At the cosmetic dentistry office of Dr. Zarger, we are pleased to offer composite resin fillings to our patients. While metal alloy fillings are durable and have been used for decades, their high visibility makes them a less desirable choice. Composite resin can be custom made to match your surrounding tooth for a beautiful and seamless look.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Fillings?
Not everyone who suffers from tooth decay is automatically a good candidate for dental fillings. The ideal candidate for a dental filling is a patient with isolated instances of mild tooth decay - in other words, mild cavities. This type of tooth decay can be removed and filled in with composite resin, maintaining the tooth’s structural integrity and strength.
If you are suffering from more extensive and widespread tooth decay, a dental filling may not be enough to provide your tooth with adequate support after the decayed tissue has been removed. In these cases, Dr. Zarger may recommend an inlay, onlay, or dental crown, depending on the extent and location of the cavity.
If the decay has reached the root canals of your tooth, you may require a root canal procedure. In this procedure, the nerves, pulp, and infection are removed from the root canals. The canals are then filled with a rubber compound. To protect and support the remaining natural tooth structure, a dental crown is placed.
If your tooth is in extremely poor condition, it may need to be pulled completely and replaced with a dental bridge or implant-supported crown. During your consultation, Dr. Zarger will be able to assess the condition of your teeth and determine which option is best for you.
Learn More about Dental Fillings
If you are dealing with tooth sensitivity, discomfort, or pain, you may be suffering from the effects of tooth decay. A skilled and experienced dental professional can determine if fillings or another type of dental restoration will best fit your needs. Contact Dr. Zarger at our cosmetic dentistry center to find out more about your candidacy for dental fillings and your best options for a healthier smile.