Cavities are an extremely common dental health complaint among patients of all ages. Studies show that roughly 90% of adults have or have had a cavity at least once in their life. A significant portion of these millions of cavities have been filled; odds are you have a filling or two yourself. But what are they?
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are the most common treatment for instances of minor decay – often cavities. The goal of any filling is to remove the decay and stop its progression, then use the filling material to restore the function and structural integrity of the tooth.
Metal vs. Resin Fillings
Dental fillings are generally offered in two basic material groups: metal, and “white.” At Barataria Dental we use composite resin “white fillings.” But what’s the difference?
Metal is the traditional filling material and has been used by dentists in this way for hundreds of years. Metal fillings are typically made from dental amalgam, an alloy of liquid mercury and other metals, usually silver, tin, and copper. The advantage of metal fillings is that they are quite moldable to fit the tooth well. They are also relatively cheap and the application process is quite forgiving. Unfortunately, there are some concerns that these fillings can leach toxic metals into the body.
White fillings fall under the heading of “dental bonding.” Dental bonding can restore and repair all sorts of damage, including cavities. In this case, a composite resin takes the place of the metal. The resin is strong, effective, and comfortable, and the best-looking option available. The repair is almost invisible after a short time. However, the application of the composite resin is a bit finicky so these fillings are more difficult to perform than metal.
How Does it Work?
Fillings are a quick, easy, affordable procedure that can typically be completed in one visit. Drs. Maria Burmaster and Valerie Hemphill use a composite resin that has been color-matched to your teeth. They will shape the resin into place so that your bite is comfortable. Drs. Burmaster and Hemphill will then cure the resin using a light. This hardens the resin, and it should last for years of wear.
Schedule an Appointment
Do you have a cavity that needs treatment? Drs. Burmaster and Hemphill have years of experience in treating dental complaints big and small. They are highly qualified to treat your minor tooth decay using modern materials and techniques. To schedule an appointment at Barataria Dental in Marrero, LA, contact us online, or over the phone at 504.358.8632.