Composite fillings are tooth colored fillings that are placed into the tooth to fill a hole and are hardened with a special light. Composite fillings are actually bonded to your tooth so they are very strong when used under correct conditions. Dr. Frost always says that the word “filling” describes exactly what it is meant to do – it’s for filling a hole created by a cavity. Using composite filling material to build back a large portion of a tooth is not what the material was originally designed to do and the risk of breaking that filling is very high. If the filling does break, additional treatment will be required. Luckily, we have a proven and predictable solution for building back large portions of missing tooth structure; called crowns.
A filling will usually take one appointment and we can schedule multiple fillings in the same appointment, depending on the situation. The process is as follows: Dr. Frost will remove the cavity and any portion of the tooth that has been undermined by the cavity. Once it is verified that the cavity is removed, Dr. Frost will apply a bond to your tooth that will attach the filling to the tooth. Once the bond is applied, the filling material will fix the hole in your tooth so you can’t see or feel where the hole used to be. We will then check your bite and make sure the filling sealed up and is silky smooth.
Replacing Metal Fillings
Most patients don’t like the metal fillings in their mouth. They are usually from “a long time ago.” Metal fillings are very strong and usually last for a very long time. Dr. Frost often calls them bulletproof. Unless the filling is breaking down or the patient requests that all metal fillings be removed, the fillings may be left in place until there is a reason to remove them.
A lot of patients worry about their exposure to mercury as this was all over the media awhile back. The process of placing and removing the fillings expose you to more mercury than just having the fillings present in your mouth. That is why Dr. Frost doesn’t like to replace them unless they are defective or upon patient request. We have your best interests at heart and are here to protect you!