Why Dental Fillings Work and Your Options When One is Needed

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Your teeth are strong and capable of life-long function. But occasional maintenance and repair is needed.

Dental fillings restore your tooth function and appearance caused by disease, damage, or trauma. You have filling options as well depending on your tooth structure and preference.


Dental Fillings


The why and how of dental fillings

Minor tooth damage is the common reason for requiring a dental filling. Causes can include:

  • A cavity caused by tooth decay
  • A chipped or fractured tooth

A dental filling prevents the decay from spreading. Any tooth damage will be restored to help eliminate the risk of decay returning to the area.

Your treatment can most often be completed in one appointment. The damaged tooth area is prepared, any decay or infection is removed and treated, and your tooth is restored to its natural function and appearance following filling placement.


The “natural” choice

Tooth-colored dental fillings are designed to match the natural shade of your teeth. They will blend with your surrounding teeth and often be unnoticeable following treatment.

Composite resin is the common material used for tooth-colored fillings. Your treated tooth will have a consistent white shade when resin is used.

Porcelain is also a material that can be used to craft your tooth-colored filling. Porcelain fillings are versatile too. They’re often created to fill larger areas such as with inlays and onlays.

Keep in mind that tooth colored fillings can require more preparation time. But considering your tooth condition you will appreciate the natural looking results.


Strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness

Often a silver (amalgam) filling is necessary and the best solution depending on your tooth condition. Amalgam fillings are crafted from select alloys including silver.

An amalgam filling has been standard for many years. That said, there’s a trend away from fillings containing metal.

Metal allergies, tooth prep, and cosmetic (appearance) preferences can tip you away from amalgam dental fillings. Yet, on occasion an amalgam filling is the best alternative and is less expensive than the tooth-colored filling option.


Contact your St. Petersburg cosmetic dentistry specialist, Dr. Roberto Macedo, DDS, MS, PhD. about your damaged or decayed teeth. Schedule an examination and treatment consultation to discover how dental fillings can restore your tooth function and natural-looking smile appearance.