Placing a Tooth-colored Filling
Dr. Bixby will determine if you have developed tooth decay, also known as caries, by examining your smile. In addition to looking for any visual signs of decay, Dr. Bixby will use X-ray imaging to more closely examine your smile. These images give Dr. Bixby a more comprehensive view of each of your teeth and can show him where decay may have begun to develop in hidden areas of your smile. Once he has determined that a dental filling will sufficiently restore your tooth, your treatment can begin. In some cases, when decay has destroyed too much tooth structure, you may require an inlay, onlay, or even a dental crown in lieu of a filling.
To prepare your tooth, Dr. Bixby will use a drill to carefully ablate away your decayed tissue, layer by layey. Dr. Bixby uses a conservative approach during this part of treatment in an effort to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. He will carefully clean the space that remains in your tooth, ensuring that all decay and plaque bacteria are destroyed. Next, he will place putty-like resin within your cavity, carefully molding it to fit within all of the nooks and crannies within the space. He hardens your filling using a specialized curing light, and your treatment is complete.
The Benefits of Tooth-colored Fillings
In years past, amalgam - a metallic mixture - was the go-to material choice for dental fillings. Many patients still have amalgam fillings in place today, although fewer and fewer dentists are willing to place them. Dr. Bixby has chosen to only provide tooth-colored fillings because of several reasons:
- Tooth-colored fillings are fully biocompatible with your body. They are metal-free and are completely safe for patients with metal allergies. Even if they do not have metal allergies, many of our patients prefer metal-free restorations.
- The composite resin that comprises tooth-colored fillings maintains its shape when exposed to heat and cold better than traditional amalgam fillings. Because of this, they can last much longer than traditional amalgam and have a lower incidence of bacteria developing beneath them.
- Tooth-colored fillings fit beautifully within your smile and blend easily with the color of your natural teeth. If you have a filling that is potentially visible when you smile, composite resin fillings are completely indistinguishable.
It is important to maintain your regular preventive appointments with Dr. Bixby. By catching tooth decay early, Dr. Bixby can protect your smile and save you from costly restorations in the future.