Do you have a cavity that is in need of repair? Dental fillings are used to clean and repair cavities, which are areas of dental decay caused by bacteria. Dr. Alka Mahajan, DMD, and her team at Progressive Dental Care in Fairfax, Virginia, are well-equipped to treat all types of cavities, no matter their severity or location. Most importantly, Dr. Mahajan ensures that your treatment is as pain-free as possible. If you are concerned you may be in need of a dental filling, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Fillings Q & A
What is a dental filling?
A dental filling is a procedure that helps repair decayed, cracked, or broken teeth. It involves removing compromised tooth structure and bacteria from your existing tooth, replacing it with safe material, and sealing it to resist a future bacterial infection.
What are the types of fillings?
There are a variety of materials used to fill cavities, including gold, silver amalgam, or composite resin. The selection of material varies based on the location of the cavity, the potential for recurring damage or decay, and aesthetic concerns. Dr. Mahajan discusses your best options with you on a case-by-case basis.
The two most common types of fillings, amalgam, and composite, each have their advantages.
Amalgam fillings have been around for more than a century as they are very durable, easy to use, and highly resistant to wear. They’re also less expensive than composite fillings. As an alloy of various metals, including mercury, amalgam has been scrutinized for its safety, but all major scientific bodies, namely the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, have deemed it safe and effective.
Amalgam can cause short-term sensitivity post-procedure, and as a metal, doesn’t blend in with your natural tooth color. For these reasons, composite fillings may be a better choice for your needs.
Composite fillings resemble your existing tooth structure, making them a nice option for fillings in visible areas. Composed of a mixture of glass or quartz in a resin base, composite fillings are highly durable, resistant to fracture, and perfect for small-to-medium size cavities.
Although more expensive than amalgam fillings, composite fillings allow Dr. Mahajan to preserve more natural tooth structures.
What can I expect during a dental filling appointment?
Prior to repairing any filling, Dr. Mahajan confirms the existence and severity of a cavity through diagnostic exams and X-rays. If you are pregnant or averse to traditional X-rays, she’ll use the newest radiation-free cavity detection technology, CariVue™, to assess your cavity risk or severity. If you’re receiving a composite filling, Dr. Mahajan selects the appropriate color match to provide a flawless match to your existing teeth.
To ensure you’re most comfortable during the procedure, Dr. Mahajan provides topical and local anesthetic to numb the area in which she’s working. She then gets to work removing any decayed or broken tooth structure and ridding the area of any bacteria.
Following cleansing, she works carefully to fill the tooth with the filling material, ensuring all gaps are sealed. The final step is a bite check-in which Dr. Mahajan makes sure that the filling doesn’t interfere with normal function.
Does getting a cavity filled hurt?
Dr. Mahajan understands that teeth are tremendously sensitive. That’s why she takes extra time to make sure that any area in which she’s working is numb prior to treatment. She uses a topical and local anesthetic for maximum patient comfort as a happy patient makes for a more successful treatment.
If you’re looking for the best in cavity repair, call or make an appointment online with Progressive Dental Care.