If you have a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury, dental fillings may help to replace the damaged section of your tooth. At Green Tree Dental, located in Chicago, we recommend a cavity filling for patients who wish to prevent losing a tooth and safeguarding it against further damage. Traditional fillings were made of silver amalgam, a combination of metals held together by a small amount of mercury. However, patients today have a much larger range of options available to them in terms of materials.

Cavity Filling Materials

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Silver and gold fillings are still used in many dental practices. Many metal fillings are used for back teeth since they are not as visible to others. Depending on the metal used, they are the more affordable option. The biggest complaint with metal fillings is that they are overly-visible, not aesthetically pleasing, and some contain trace amounts of mercury.

Composite resin fillings can be made to match the existing teeth in your mouth for a natural smile. They are a popular option for patients who wish to perfect their teeth with materials that are mercury-free and appear natural. On the downside, composite fillings do not last as long as metals, but they do last around a decade.

Porcelain fillings, often called inlays, are a more expensive option. They last longer than composite fillings but are just as aesthetically pleasing. They can also be used to treat worn down teeth instead of just cavities.

What to Expect during a Tooth Filling

The use of anesthetics has made the application of a tooth filling a pain-free procedure. Some patients complain of mild pain after the procedure, so you can ask your dentist which over-the-counter medicines you are allowed to take.

A filling is a relatively quick dental procedure, usually taking half an hour to an hour, depending on the severity of the case. Your Green Tree Dental dentist will begin the procedure by numbing the area with a local anesthetic. The damaged part of the tooth will be removed and cleaned out. While feeling pressure is normal, you should not feel any pain. Your dentist will then apply the filling, cure if it if needed, and polish it to perfection. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our affordable dentist near you, call Green Tree Dental today.

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