Restore Cavities and Your Smile with Dental Fillings
Cavities can compromise the appearance and function of your smile, as well as your overall oral health. At our Billings, MT, practice, Dr. Kenneth J. Bagby can place tooth-colored dental fillings to restore teeth damaged by cavities, preventing the need for a possible tooth extraction. Dr. Bagby has provided quality dental care to our community for over 30 years.
About Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most affordable options for cavity repair. They can also be used to restore teeth that are chipped or cracked. Traditionally, fillings were metallic in color and made from an amalgam mixture of tin, copper, silver, zinc, and mercury. While amalgam fillings are still used in some practices today, most contemporary dental fillings are made of composite resin. This material can be color-matched to blend in seamlessly with your smile.
Exploring Candidacy for Dental Fillings
In general, dental fillings are most effective for patients with mild to moderate tooth decay. Individuals with severe decay or a large fracture may require alternative treatment, such as root canal therapy or a dental crown.
Some patients choose to have their old amalgam restorations replaced with tooth-colored composite fillings. This can dramatically enhance the aesthetics of your smile.
Receiving a Dental Filling
Placing a dental filling is a fairly straightforward process and can be completed in under an hour at our office. This treatment includes:
- Decay removal: Dr. Bagby will remove any decayed portions of the affected tooth. This will prevent bacteria from spreading to other areas.
- Preparing the tooth: Next, Dr. Bagby will isolate the affected tooth to prevent moisture from collecting during the procedure. He will then roughen the surface of the tooth to create an optimal bonding surface for the composite resin.
- Placement of filling: Once the tooth is prepared, composite resin will be placed into the area damaged by decay. This will strengthen and reinforce the tooth.
- Curing: To harden the composite resin more quickly, Dr. Bagby will direct a special dental curing light onto the surface of the tooth.
- Final adjustments: Lastly, Dr. Bagby will smooth out the edges of your filling, check your bite, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that it looks and feels as comfortable as possible.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
Compared to traditional amalgam fillings, tooth-colored composite fillings offer a wide range of advantages. The most obvious benefit is aesthetic. Composite restorations blend in with your surrounding teeth for a natural-looking smile. Most people will never even know that you have had dental work completed.
Additionally, composite fillings are less invasive than their conventional counterparts. For example, to place an amalgam filling, more natural tooth structure must be removed. Furthermore, because composite resin bonds directly to the tooth surface, the integrity of the tooth is further preserved.
Schedule a Visit Today
Dental fillings are one of the most common restorative treatments performed in dentistry today. This procedure can eliminate decay and help preserve your oral health for years to come. To learn more about composite dental fillings or to schedule an appointment at our practice, call us at (406) 252-1078 or contact us online anytime.