Dental Fillings in Centuria, WI

Combat and Treat Cavities with Tooth Fillings

Maintaining a healthy smile is essential for overall oral health and well-being. While cavities can pose a threat to the integrity of our teeth, dental fillings are a reliable solution for restoring and protecting teeth affected by decay. Discover why Dr. Georgie Vargas at River Birch Dental is one of the best dentists in Centuria, WI, for restoring your beautiful smile. Call (715) 646-2161 to learn more. 

What Are Composite Resin Fillings?

dentist talking to man in dental chairComposite resin fillings, also called tooth-colored fillings or white fillings, are a type of tooth-filling material made from resin combined with glass particles. This mixture creates a strong, durable material that can be shaped and polished to perfectly match the color of your natural teeth. Composite fillings are bonded directly to the natural tooth and structure, creating a tight seal that helps prevent future decay.

Benefits of Composite Fillings

There are several benefits of tooth-colored fillings, such as:

  • Natural Appearance: Composite fillings are tooth-colored, so they blend seamlessly with your surrounding teeth, creating a discreet and aesthetically pleasing restoration.
  • Strong and Durable: Composite fillings are quite strong and can last for many years with proper care.
  • Conservative Treatment: Because composite fillings bond to the tooth, they require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to traditional metal fillings.
  • Versatility: Composite fillings can be used to restore cavities of all sizes, close gaps between teeth, and repair chipped or broken teeth.
  • Reduced Sensitivity: Unlike metal fillings, composite fillings typically cause less sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Tooth-Colored Fillings vs. Metal Fillings

senior patient observing smile in hand mirrorUltimately, the best type of filling for you depends on several factors, including the location and severity of the cavity, your desired level of aesthetics, and your budget. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

  • For a natural-looking and minimally invasive restoration, choose composite fillings. They’re ideal for cavities on front teeth or visible areas where aesthetics are important. 
  • If durability is your top priority and cost is a major concern, metal fillings might be a more suitable option. However, be aware of their potential for visibility and sensitivity.

During your dental consultation appointment, Dr. Vargas will thoroughly examine your teeth and discuss all your options. She’ll consider your situation and preferences to recommend the most appropriate type of filling for a long-lasting, healthy smile.

Candidacy for Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a versatile dental restoration, but they might not be suitable for everyone. Here’s a breakdown of who is a good candidate for composite fillings:

  • People with Small to Medium Cavities: Composite fillings are ideal for treating cavities that haven’t caused extensive tooth damage.
  • Those Seeking a Natural Look: Since composite fillings are tooth-colored, they’re a perfect choice for individuals who prioritize aesthetics and want fillings that blend seamlessly with their smile.
  • Patients with Chipped or Cracked Teeth: Minor chips and cracks in teeth can be effectively repaired with composite fillings, restoring both function and appearance.
  • Individuals with Existing Metal Fillings: If you have old, unsightly metal fillings that you want replaced, composite fillings offer a more natural-looking alternative.

When can a tooth not be filled?

In some cases, a tooth may not be a candidate for a composite resin filling. Here are some reasons why:

  • Extensive Decay: If the cavity is very large and a significant portion of the tooth structure is compromised, a filling may not be sufficient to restore the tooth’s strength and function. 
  • Fractured Tooth: Depending on the severity of the fracture, the tooth may need to be extracted or undergo a root canal procedure followed by a crown.
  • Severe Infection: If the cavity has progressed to an infection of the pulp (the inner part of the tooth), a filling won’t be enough. 
close up picture of a back molar

Placing Composite Fillings

Comfort & Preparation

Local anesthesia ensures a comfortable experience throughout the procedure. Once we’re sure the area is properly numbed, Dr. Vargas will remove the decayed tooth structure using specialized dental tools. Once cleaned, the tooth surface is prepped with a conditioning agent to create a strong bond with the filling material.

Sculpting & Curing

Dr. Vargas skillfully applies the composite material in thin layers to the cavity. This allows for precise shaping and ensures a natural-looking restoration. She will carefully mold the composite to perfectly match the surrounding tooth anatomy for optimal functionality.  Once the composite resin is shaped, a special light is used to activate the curing process, hardening the composite material into a durable restoration.

Finishing Touches

After hardening, Dr. Vargas trims and polishes the filling to achieve a natural look and smooth feel that seamlessly blends with your surrounding teeth. This step ensures a comfortable bite and prevents any irritation to your tongue or cheek.

Bite Check & Aftercare Instructions

Finally, Dr. Vargas will check your bite to ensure proper alignment and comfortable chewing. She will also provide detailed aftercare instructions to optimize the longevity of your composite filling. These instructions typically involve maintaining good oral hygiene practices, dietary recommendations for the first few days, and the importance of scheduling regular dental checkups.

Aftercare for Composite Filling Placement

Following your composite filling placement, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene to ensure the longevity of the restoration. Here are some essential aftercare tips from Dr. Vargas:

  • Maintain a Brushing and Flossing Routine: Brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque buildup.
  • Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can scratch the filling.
  • Be Mindful of Certain Foods and Drinks: For the first 24 to 48 hours, avoid staining beverages like coffee, wine, or tea. Also, be cautious with hard or sticky foods that could potentially damage the filling.
  • Schedule Regular Dental Checkups: Maintain regular dental exams and cleanings to monitor your oral health and the condition of your fillings.

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