Dental Fillings in Tampa Florida – SmileTampa
Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by the acid-producing bacteria found in plaque. These acids eat away at the enamel (the outermost layer of a tooth), leading to the formation of cavities. At Prosthodontics & Implant Therapy, we always try to treat a cavity before it progresses into a more serious complication. If we diagnose you with a cavity during your routine checkup, we will likely treat the tooth with a dental filling. Our dentist can also use a filling to repair cracked, broken, or worn-down teeth.
At Prosthodontics and Implant Therapy, we offer composite, porcelain, and gold fillings to restore damaged or decayed teeth. Each filling material has its unique benefits, and the choice of material depends on the patient's preferences, the extent of damage, and the tooth's location.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of glass and plastic resin that is bonded to the tooth. They are the most popular type of fillings because they are tooth-colored, durable, and blend seamlessly with the natural tooth. Composite fillings are ideal for restoring small to moderate-sized cavities, chipped or cracked teeth. They can also be used for cosmetic purposes, such as reshaping or lengthening teeth, closing gaps, or covering stains.
For most patients, getting a composite filling is relatively simple and can be completed in one dental visit. The dentist will first numb the affected area with a local anesthetic and remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. Then, the tooth is cleaned and prepared for the filling by etching the surface with an acidic gel that roughens the enamel to facilitate bonding. The composite filling is then applied in layers and hardened using a special light. The dentist will shape and polish the filling to match the natural tooth's contour and appearance.
The benefits of composite fillings are numerous. They are durable and can last up to ten years with proper care. They are versatile and can be used on both front and back teeth. Composite fillings require minimal removal of tooth structure, preserving more of the natural tooth than other filling materials. Additionally, composite fillings do not contain mercury, which concerns some patients.
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are custom-made restorations that cover the tooth's tooth's entire surface. They are typically used for larger cavities or teeth with extensive damage. Porcelain fillings are made from high-quality dental ceramics that mimic the natural tooth's appearance and translucency. They are bonded to the tooth using special dental cement and can last up to 15 years or more with proper care.
The process of getting a porcelain filling usually requires two dental visits. During the first visit, the dentist will numb the tooth and remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory to create a custom-fitted porcelain filling. A temporary filling is placed on the tooth to protect it until the next visit. During the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary filling, fit the porcelain filling to the tooth, and bond it in place using dental cement. The dentist will then shape and polish the filling to match the natural tooth's contour and appearance.
The benefits of porcelain fillings are significant. They are durable, long-lasting, and stain-resistant, making them ideal for the front and back teeth. They also provide excellent esthetics, as they are custom-fitted to match the natural tooth's shape, size, and color. Porcelain fillings are biocompatible, meaning they do not cause any adverse reactions or allergies in the body. They also require minimal removal of tooth structure, preserving more of the natural tooth than other filling materials.
Gold fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are custom-made restorations made from gold alloy, which is a mix of gold along with several other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, palladium, and/or platinum. The gold alloy mixture provides additional strength to the gold filling. Gold is the oldest type of filling material and has been used in dentistry for centuries. Gold fillings are known for their durability, strength, and longevity and are often used in the back teeth, where the bite force is the greatest. Gold amalgam fillings are more expensive, but they can last a lifetime. Some patients have had gold fillings for 50-plus years.
The process of getting a gold filling is done in two steps. The dentist will remove the decay from the cavity and then make an impression of the space, which will be used to make the gold filling so that the fit is exact . The dentist will place a temporary filling until your gold filling is ready. Gold fillings are fabricated in a laboratory and then later cemented into place. The dentist will place a temporary filling until your gold filling is ready, usually in a couple of days.
Regardless of the type of filling that you choose, it is normal to experience some sensitivity the first few days with your new filling. If the sensitivity persist or worsens over time, be sure to call our office to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. We may need to repair or replace your filling.
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If you would like to learn more about dental fillings, call (813) 933-6705, and schedule an appointment now!