Restore Damaged Teeth with Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are typically the most conservative method of restoring a decayed tooth. Dr. Gilbert Palmieri can repair your tooth after treatment for a small to medium-sized cavity with dental fillings at his Lancaster, PA, practice. He offers both tooth-colored composite fillings to achieve a natural appearance, or all-gold fillings that sustain pressure exerted on the molars exceptionally well.
Who Needs Dental Fillings?
Decay occurs when bacteria in dental plaque eats away at a tooth. You should seek treatment when cavities form, because if left unchecked, they can deteriorate to the point that the patient will require root canal therapy or even tooth extraction.
Dr. Palmieri can repair a small or medium-sized cavity with a standard tooth-colored or gold filling. If more than half of the chewing surface of a tooth is damaged due to dental decay, you may require an inlay or onlay. Extensive damage to the tooth's structure may also require a crown. Your dentist will determine which treatment is best for you during your consultation.
Since tooth-colored fillings offer several benefits over traditional metal fillings, we can also replace old fillings with this advanced material.
What to Expect
When you come in for treatment, Dr. Palmieri will first clean your tooth thoroughly, and remove all damaged tissue. Next, he will carefully place the filling. The filling material is applied in layers and hardened with a curing light, then polished to achieve a smooth dental surface.
Tooth-colored fillings are available in many shades, and Dr. Palmieri will select the one that blends seamlessly with your smile. This property makes tooth-colored fillings a great choice for restoring anterior teeth or any visible tooth surface. Tooth-colored fillings can be placed in a single office visit.
We offer both tooth-colored composite fillings to achieve a natural appearance, or all-gold fillings that sustain pressure exerted on the molars exceptionally well.
A gold filling, which is better suited for back teeth due to their superior strength, requires at least two office visits for placement.
Advantages of Tooth-colored Fillings
The main advantage of tooth-colored fillings is aesthetic. Since the material closely matches the color of your surrounding teeth, people will notice your vibrant new smile, not the dental work. Other advantages include:
Less preparatory work: Unlike traditional metal restorations, tooth-colored fillings require your dentist to remove only minimal amounts of healthy dental tissue. This helps preserve the strength of the tooth and minimizes the risk of damage in the future.
Resistance to temperature fluctuations: Traditional metal fillings may expand and contract due to temperature fluctuations. This can cause a filling to crack, or even break the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings do not respond to temperature changes.
Mercury-free restoration: Metal fillings contain trace amounts of mercury. While this has not been shown to harm those who have metal fillings, most patients would prefer a toxin-free solution.
A tooth-colored filling will blend seamlessly with your smile, preserving dental aesthetics.
Caring for Your Fillings
When cared for properly, tooth-colored fillings can last up to 10 years. Care for your fillings just as you would your own teeth: brush twice a day and floss once to prevent the buildup of food and bacteria. If you use anti-bacterial mouthwash, choose one that does not contain alcohol, which can cause fillings to weaken over time.
You should also minimize stress on your dental work by avoiding using your teeth to open packages, biting your nails or pen caps, and chewing ice and other hard foods. If you suffer from chronic teeth grinding, you should seek treatment, as this condition can damage your fillings.
Finally, you should visit your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations to prevent future decay. Dr. Palmieri can ensure that your fillings are structurally sound during a dental examination, and recommend replacements if needed.
Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Palmieri keeps abreast of the latest developments in dentistry to ensure that his patients receive the very best care. Do not delay in seeking treatment if you are suffering from cavities.
Contact us to schedule a consultation in which Dr. Palmieri can determine if fillings are the right option for you.