Fillings and Sealants

Tooth decay and cavities are common dental issues. Receiving a tooth-colored filling to restore your tooth helps prevents the problem from developing into something worse.

A filling is a simple restoration procedure primarily used to restore cavities or other mild decay or deterioration. Fillings are extremely common and have a high success rate. We offer options for composite fillings and amalgam fillings–both are safe. The type of fillings we use depends on your needs, but we commonly use composite fillings because they are tooth-colored and appear more natural for teeth that are visible and easier for others to see or notice.

Sealants are thin coatings painted on teeth to protect them from cavities. They are typically used in children, but can be used in adults as well. Sealants are a quick and affordable option to prevent cavities and tooth fillings.

How Do Cavity Fillings Work?

Cavity and tooth fillings are required to repair holes left in teeth due to tooth decay. Left unchecked, decay will continue to spread and damage the tooth. During the filling procedure dentists clean away decay inside of a cavity, usually with a drill to prevent further damage. But this doesn’t fix the damage that has already been created, so a filling is necessary. Filling replace the part of the tooth that is missing or destroyed by tooth decay. The dentist molds the filling to match the shape of the surrounding tooth, which restores the strength and integrity of the tooth and prevents further decay.

How long does a dental sealant last?

Dental sealants have been used and proven to be effective since the 1970s. They are mainly placed on chewing surfaces and are effective in in preventing tooth decay. The lifespan of sealants varies, but many last years. If the sealant wears off, new sealant can be applied. It is important to note that sealants only protect the surface of the tooth. Using fluoride and other preventative cleaning practices will still help protect all surfaces of a tooth from decay and cavities.

What Types of Filling Materials are Available?

Several types of materials are available for fillings, including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam (mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper), tooth-colored plastic and composite resin. A filling material known as glass ionomer contains glass particles. This material is used similarly to composite resin fillings. The type of filling used depends on your dentist, the extent and location of your tooth decay, and sometimes your insurance coverage.