How are Dental Fillings Used to Restore Teeth?

Happy patient

Teeth with mild to moderate damage caused by cavities are normally restored with fillings. The process is common and relatively simple, and modern tooth colored fillings preserve appearance as well as chewing function and comfort. A deeper look at this process is below.

Basic Dental Filling Procedure

Before a filling can be placed, the damaged tooth structure must be removed by our dental fillings dentist in San Francisco. A drill is used to remove the damaged portion and bacteria that has accumulated there. Next, a filling is placed into the now empty space before being shaped to match surrounding tooth structure. Lastly, a curing light is used to harden the filling in place.

Modern Fillings

Composite fillings are being used more often today instead of traditional metal fillings. Conventional metal fillings, made of a mercury amalgam, are sturdy but can break down with repeated long-term temperature changes, called thermal cycling. They expand and contract repeatedly in a single meal, based on the temperature of the food we consume during the meal. Composite fillings, also called tooth-colored fillings, do not generally break down from temperature changes, and leave normal appearance intact. Many patients also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they lack mercury, a toxic heavy metal.

Fillings are among the most common dental restorations, and tooth-colored fillings have broadened their features. Patients can schedule a consultation with our San Francisco cosmetic dentist to learn more about the restorative options of this treatment.


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