In the past, the only option patients had for filling their cavities was a material called amalgam. This was a mixture of different metals such as silver or mercury. However, those metal fillings didn’t bond with teeth as tightly as needed. Instead, they sat on top of the teeth, providing some protection but still leaving a gap open for bacteria and infection. Tribeca Smiles patients with cavities benefit from much more advanced materials called composites or composite resin, which are a vast improvement aesthetically and functionally. Not only do they mimic the color of your surrounding teeth, they do a much better job of protecting the tooth. Today, New York, NY general and cosmetic dentist Dr. Frederick Solomon uses composites, which bond tighter with the enamel and blend well with the rest of your natural teeth.
Whereas amalgam fillings are not recommended for pregnant women or people allergic to metal, composite resin fillings are a good option for practically anyone. If you want fillings that allow you to preserve the beauty of your teeth, composite fillings are the way to go. The material is so versatile, it can also be used on decayed, chipped, broken, or worn teeth. Even if you have issues with front teeth, the composite fillings are up to the challenge and will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. If you are allergic to the mercury in silver fillings or are pregnant, composite fillings may be a more prudent option. Patients of nearly all ages are eligible. If you have old metal fillings, you may opt to replace them with composites, as many people do.
What To Expect
Fortunately, getting a filling with Tribeca Smiles is an easy process. After having a consultation with Dr. Solomon to discuss your cavity, the surrounding area will be numbed and the decayed tissue will be removed with a unique dental drill. We have several different techniques, such as an air abrasion instrument or a laser. Dr. Solomon will select the tool based on where the cavity is located in the tooth and the level of decay.
After this, the new space will be filled with the composite material. Dr. Solomon will be taking care to match to surrounding color so that the filling will blend in well. Direct fillings are commonly used for smaller amounts of the composite, which is applied in layers and set with special lights. Semi-direct fillings are more involved and used for larger areas of decay while indirect fillings are more complex for even bigger areas.
Maintenance for a composite filling should be as easy as simply adhering to excellent dental hygiene practices such as regular flossing and brushing. Tooth-colored fillings should last for a long time, and you can expect to resume your normal diet since our special blue light will have already set the material into a very hard surface. If after a few days it feels too high or if it feels uneven when you take bites, notify us immediately. You might have some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for a few days, but that should wear off soon. If you have random, unprompted pain, be sure to contact us immediately as well. Dr. Solomon will let you know if you can take over-the-counter pain relief medication to address any discomfort, but you generally should not have any major issues.
Plan Your Procedure
Say GoodBye to Metal Fillings
When your tooth starts to hurt, it’s time to call Dr. Solomon since tooth decay loves to have as much time as possible to do its damage. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch it before the decay spreads too much. It can be corrected with a filling instead of a more involved procedure like a root canal or removal of the tooth itself. That’s why we encourage you to see us regularly.