At the Plano dentist office of Dr. Jacob Grapevine, the focus is on the prevention of cavities and gum disease through routine oral care. Unfortunately, even with the best care, most patients will have to deal with a tooth cavity in their lifetime. Dr. Grapevine specializes in esthetic dental fillings, more commonly known as “white fillings”. White dental fillings use tooth-colored dental composite resins to repair minor tooth decay or other minimal damage to the surface of teeth. We commonly hear from new patients that they had a filling done at another practice and that it is still sensitive, bothering them, or preventing them from chewing on the filling. We rarely have this problem in our office because of our thorough filling process and high-quality materials used.
What To Expect: Dental Fillings
In most cases, your dental filling can be placed during a single visit to our Plano dentist office. Using a local anesthetic for your comfort, Dr. Grapevine will prepare the affected tooth by removing any decay. He will then clean all surfaces before skillfully placing the composite resin material and sculpting it into place. This will give you a natural-looking and comfortable surface for normal chewing and speaking. Your filling should last for many years with good oral hygiene and routine dental care. If porcelain is being used for an inlay or onlay, dental impressions will be taken and used in the creation of your custom restoration.
What Are Cosmetic Fillings?
Cosmetic dental fillings are more comfortable than traditional metal fillings. These tooth fillings are made from a biocompatible composite resin that comes in a range of tooth-colored shades. Many patients choose to have their metal fillings replaced with new white fillings that are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
For patients with more significant damage, Dr. Grapevine may suggest a porcelain filling. Porcelain fillings, also called inlays and onlays, protect the teeth from future damage while also restoring the beauty and function. Porcelain can be matched to the exact shade of your teeth, making it virtually indistinguishable from neighboring teeth.
A dental inlay is bonded to the center of the tooth, while a dental onlay is bonded to the entire biting surface. Porcelain fillings are both comfortable and durable and with proper care, can be extremely long-lasting.
Dr. Grapevine prefers the durability, aesthetics, and safety of white fillings when treating tooth decay or tooth damage with a dental filling. Made to blend with the color of your existing natural teeth, a white filling can be made of a biocompatible composite resin or a high-quality ceramic material such as porcelain. Depending on your needs and cosmetic goals, Dr. Grapevine will work with you to ensure a result that looks great and supports your long term oral health.
Replacing Metal Dental Fillings
Dr. Grapevine can replace old, broken-down amalgam (metal) fillings with white dental fillings (composites) to restore your smile. For people who have had to suffer from seeing metal in their smile, replacing the old fillings with white fillings will give them a more natural look. With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of metal fillings. We will first take diagnostic images of the tooth to make sure there will be no adverse effects of removing the old filling. Then Dr. Grapevine will remove the metal filling and replace it with a virtually indistinguishable white filling.
Dental Fillings FAQs
Is it bad to have a lot of fillings?
No. Having a lot of dental fillings does not necessarily mean that you have bad oral health. It’s much better to have many fillings versus go through many root canal procedures and advanced restorative treatments. Restoring your teeth to good health before it’s too late is never a bad thing.
Does a filling weaken a tooth?
Decay weakens teeth. A tooth with a cavity is already weakened even before getting a filling, so the filling does not weaken the tooth. A dental filling adds support and strength to a tooth that has been affected by decay.
Do small cavities need to be filled?
Yes, all cavities should be filled as soon as they are detected. Filling a cavity and addressing tooth decay in the early stages greatly reduces the need for more expensive treatments down the road. A dental filling procedure is quick and painless, and should not be passed because of inconvenience.