Teeth Fillings: Repairing Decay, Defects and Hypersensitivity
Teeth Fillings, or Teeth Repairs, is what dentists call Operative Dentistry (think Operations on Teeth). If you have a cavity or tooth defect, have lost enamel or have sensitivity, then this is the place for you.
Teeth Fillings: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Wouldn?t it be great if teeth fillings came in flavors? While that may never be possible, we offer two types of fillings for fixing cavities and tooth defects: tooth colored fillings (composite fillings or resin fillings) and special fluoride-releasing fillings.
What If Teeth Fillings Were Invisible?
Gone are the days of dark metal fillings. Nowadays, our office has many tooth colored materials that can be used for teeth fillings that are absolutely lifelike. Tooth colored fillings, also called white composite resin fillings, are a great way to replace decayed and infected tooth structure so that teeth can stay healthy.
What If Teeth Fillings Could Repair Teeth and Make Them Stronger?
For people with a history of frequent cavities or with high risk of cavities because of age, diet or a compromised immune system, we recommend fluoride-releasing teeth fillings as an excellent way to treat cavities while strengthening teeth and preventing future cavities. These fillings are still white, tooth-colored fillings; however, the material is particularly designed to provide a fluoride boost to the surrounding tooth. Fluoride releasing fillings have the added benefit of reducing sensitivity because they both cover and seal the pores of the tooth.
Are Fillings Saving You Money?
Repairing cavities when they are still small is one major way you can save money on dental work. Why? Because small teeth fillings are less expensive. Removing decay and filling the tooth also stops the cavity from spreading and prevents it from infecting the nerve and causing a major toothache.
Extra-Strong Fillings – An Option Only Few Know About
Have you ever heard of inlays and onlays? Most people haven?t! Inlays and Onlay are special, extra strong teeth fillings made from the same stuff as crowns and bridges. These fillings are made to last!
Inlays go inside the tooth where cavities used to be. Onlays go on the top of the tooth when cavities are extra large. Both are extremely strong and completely resistant to stain and color changes.
Inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the teeth. This makes them stronger than regular teeth fillings.
Unfortunately for our patients with dental insurance, inlays and onlays are not a covered benefit because they are considered a PREMIUM service for repairing cavities. They cost more than regular fillings because they are made in a lab with superior crown materials.
One particular case I used an onlay was for a young lady who was born with a defect in her back teeth which allowed cavities to form more quickly. In her case, fixing the void in a way that would last as long as possible meant using a porcelain onlay. Though it cost the same as a crown, the onlay was able to fix the defect and preserve more of the tooth structure, which is what mattered to her parents.
Sensitive teeth are miserable. They give shocks of pain when least expected. They zing when you eat candy and sting when you pick out popcorn kernels. They ache from hot coffee and twinge with ice cold. They even hurt just from breathing! Ughhh!
Sensitivity usually happens when the inside of the tooth is exposed. Healthy teeth have the inner layers of dentin protected under the hard, white enamel. Healthy teeth are also shielded by a thick layer of gum tissue. With either enamel erosion or gum recession, these inner, more sensitive parts of the tooth get exposed to air and start the uncomfortable cycle of sensitivity.
Fortunately, there are several Teeth Filling Options to treat sensitive teeth:
- Fluoride Varnish: This varnish binds to your teeth where they hurt. It temporarily seals off the open pores of dentin and cementum that cause sensitivity. This is the least expensive way to treat sensitivity and has the additional benefit of strengthening teeth and preventing cavities; however, it gradually wears off and needs to be reapplied every 3-4 months for continual relief.
- Composite Bonding: Bonding provides long term relief for sensitive teeth by covering the spots of exposed underlayers of the tooth with protective, tooth-like composite material. Composite bonding repairs a tooth and provides sensitivity relief for several years instead of several months.