Cavity fillings are the most common restorative dental treatment provided in the United States – in fact, it is estimated that Americans have an average of three fillings, and a quarter of the population have 11 or more. While good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can help prevent a large number of dental issues, a variety of factors can contribute to tooth decay. At the dental practice of Dr. W. Paul Burns, DDS, we provide patients in the El Dorado, Union County, Magnolia, Camden, and neighboring AR communities the option of tooth-colored composite dental fillings.
Benefits of composite fillings
Composite resin is a modern alternative approach to the metal amalgam fillings that were used for many decades in dentistry. While amalgam was an effective way to fill a tooth that had been decayed, it required a large amount of natural tooth structure to be removed, could cause tooth fractures due to its propensity to rapidly expand when exposed to heat, and contained metals that some patients have concerns about. Alternatively, composite restorations have many benefits for patients:
- The white cosmetic fillings blend in seamlessly with teeth so they don’t affect the overall appearance of your smile
- There is no metal in composite resin, which can cause allergies and other potential negative health effects in some people
- Less natural tooth structure needs to be removed during the filling process when composite resin is used, which makes it a more conservative treatment option
- Composite resin expands and contracts when exposed to heat or cold in a similar way that natural teeth do, making teeth less susceptible to fractures or damage after treatment
The composite filling process
When you come in for your filling, we will first gently numb the area that will be treated so you are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. Then, we will use specialized dental tools to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and sanitize the area to eliminate any lingering bacteria. After drying it, we will then paint on the composite resin layer by layer, curing it with a light in between each layer. Finally, Dr. Burns will shape the filling so that it is similar to your natural tooth’s grooves so that it doesn’t change the way your teeth bite together.
To schedule your appointment with Dr. Burns, call our El Dorado, AR dental practice today at (870) 686-4232!