If you’ve been told that you may need a dental filling, the team at Monocacy Valley Dental in Frederick, MD is here to provide a little background about this common restorative dental procedure.
What is a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are a general dentistry treatment for patients who need to restore the function of their teeth due to a cavity or missing tooth. The photo below is a traditional dental restorative. It is made of silver amalgam. You probably recognize this type of dental filling.
Silver amalgam dental fillings, while quite noticeable, have their perks. The strength and durability of this traditional dental material make it useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, often in the back of the mouth.
However, new and advanced technology, like the equipment at Monocacy Valley Dental, now allows general dentists to create much more natural, inconspicuous dental fillings. The newer material is made of ceramic and plastic compounds. These compounds, often called composite resins, are usually used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, but they can also be used on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
What Types of Dental Fillings Exist?
There are a couple methods Dr. Motz can use to implement dental fillings for his patients. The two options are called direct fillings and indirect fillings and they each serve different purposes.
- Direct fillings are placed into a prepared cavity in a single visit. They include silver amalgam, glass ionomers, resin ionomers, and composite (resin) fillings. The dentist prepares the tooth, places the filling, and adjusts it in one appointment. Pretty simple!
- Indirect fillings generally require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, and veneers fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. They are used when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling but not enough to necessitate a crown. During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth and makes an impression of the area to be restored. The dentist then places a temporary covering over the prepared tooth. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory, which creates the dental restoration. At the next appointment, the dentist cements the restoration into the prepared cavity and adjusts it as needed.
What’s Right for Me?
Before your treatment begins, Dr. Motz will discuss all of your options and help you choose the best filling for your particular case. In determining whether direct or indirect fillings are appropriate for your unique needs, it’s also important to consider several of the following factors that influence the performance, durability, longevity, and expense of dental restorations:
- The components used in the filling material
- The amount of tooth structure remaining
- Where and how the filling is placed
- The chewing load that the tooth will have to bear
- The length and number of visits needed to prepare and adjust the restored tooth
If you’re unsure if you need dental fillings, find out how to contact our office below to make an appointment with Dr. Motz at Monocacy Valley Dental in Frederick, MD.
Contact Monocacy Valley Dental for Your Dental Fillings Today!
At Monocacy Valley Dental, we are proud to provide excellent treatments and friendly service. If you’re in the market for dental fillings or other general dentistry treatments, come to visit Dr. Motz and the team in Frederick, MD. Contact us at (301) 698-004 or make an appointment online. We look forward to meeting you!