What are Dental Fillings?
To treat a cavity Dr. Elseweifi will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth with a dental filling where the decayed material was removed. Treating a cavity, usually stops the associated toothache.
Materials for Dental Fillings
Main materials used for dental fillings include silver (Amalgam) fillings and composites.
Silver Fillings (Amalgams)
Dental amalgam is an alloy made by combining mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. Silver Amalgam has been used as a dental filling for decades.
Advantages of silver fillings:
- Durability -- silver dental fillings usually outlasts composite (tooth-colored) fillings.
- Expense -- Amalgam is less expensive than composite fillings
Disadvantages of silver dental fillings:
- Poor aesthetics -- silver fillings don't match the color of natural teeth.
- Destruction of more tooth structure -- healthy parts of the tooth must often be removed to make a space large enough to hold the amalgam filling.
- Discoloration -- amalgam fillings can create a grayish hue to the surrounding tooth structure.
Composite Dental Fillings
Composite fillings are also called cosmetic fillings or tooth-colored fillings. A composite dental filling is a mixture of acrylic resin and finely ground glass like particles that produce a tooth-colored restoration. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Composite fillings are important for cosmetic dental techniques.
Advantages of composites:
- Aesthetics -- the shade/color of the composite dental fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. Composites are particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.
- Bonding to tooth structure -- composite fillings actually chemically bond to tooth structure, providing further support.
- Tooth-sparing preparation -- sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with amalgam fillings when removing decay and preparing for the filling.
Disadvantages of composites:
- Increased chair time -- because of the process to apply the composite material, these dental fillings can take up to 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings to place.
- Additional visits -- if composites are used for inlays or onlays, more than one office visit may be required.
- Chipping -- depending on location, composite materials can chip off the tooth.
- Expense -- composite fillings can cost up to twice the cost of amalgam fillings. Most dental insurance plans do not pay for composite fillings on back teeth.
Why do I have pain after having a dental filling?
You may feel pain or sensitivity in a tooth after a dental filling for many reasons
- Th nerve of the tooth is irritated: Dental fillings treat cavities in your teeth. Most often the decay irritates the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. Having a dental filling may wake up the irritated nerve and can cause some pain or sensitivity in the tooth. This is usually temporary and often goes away in few weeks.
- The nerve of the tooth is damaged or dead: If the nerve (pulp) of the tooth is irreversibly damaged or dead, you may start feeling pain after a filling. This is not caused by the filling. If the pain persists, you may need root canal treatment.
- Tooth fracture or crack: If the tooth is weak due to extensive decay, it may fracture during treatment. Fractures are often not visible. You may start feeling pain that increases with biting.
- Your bite is high: A high spot on your bite may cause temporary sensitivity. The sensitivity often disappears once the bite is adjusted.
Looking for dental fillings, in Wicker Park, or Bucktown, call us at 773-276-2757.