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Many times, in order to restore a tooth to a healthy state it becomes necessary to place a dental filling. Dental fillings are used to fill in portions of the tooth that have been removed due to decay caused by bacteria within the mouth. There are two different varieties of fillings (direct and indirect) each which offer several different kinds of materials that are used to accomplish the filling.

At Tyson Smiles, we are passionate about providing our patients with the very best in oral healthcare. If you have are being bothered by discomfort in your mouth, please call us today at (571) 758-5889 to schedule an appointment to be seen by us as quickly as possible. The more quickly that we know about any issues that arise, the better chance we have at a successful and simple solution.

Direct Fillings

When we refer to a direct filling we are talking about a tooth restoration procedure that will only take one office visit to accomplish. The majority of fillings are done in a direct manner. The stereotypical restorative procedure that everyone envisions when they hear the word “filling” is a direct filling. Amalgam and composite are the most common materials use to accomplish direct filling procedures.

Situations where we will use a direct filling are when we know the tooth has a significant and substantial structure left to support the filling. We will remove the decay from the tooth using a dental drill and use the filling material to pack within the space we have created.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is the most common filling material in the world today. They appear silver or metallic in color. Amalgam is comprised of a mixture of metals like silver, mercury, copper and tin.

Because of the properties of amalgam, the amount of healthy tooth that we are require to take are a bit higher than other filling materials. This results in a larger filling. We can’t use amalgam for teeth other than the molars and the premolars.

The advantages of amalgam fillings are that they tend to have a long life, and are very durable. They are the cheapest fillings to receive and typically only require one visit to be placed.

The disadvantages of amalgam fillings are that they have trace amounts of mercury within them and they are not aesthetically pleasing. As previously mentioned, amalgam requires us to take a bit more of the tooth than we would if we were using composite as the filling material. This can leave you with less healthy tooth structure.

Composite Fillings

Composite is another very common filling material and it is quickly becoming a very popular option because of its very tooth-like appearance. Before we begin the procedure we mix the composite resin to match the exact color of your tooth. This allows us to maintain the beautiful, unblemished nature of your smile.

Often called plastic fillings, composite material is durable and long lasting. Amalgam fillings are considered a tougher material than composite. The biggest advantage that composite fillings bring to the table besides their great aesthetic value is the fact that they are very successful in small filling applications where amalgam would fail.

The disadvantages of using composite material as a filling material is that they may wear faster than other materials and they may be more sensitive to heat and cold.

Indirect Fillings

Indirect fillings are restorations that are manufactured outside of the tooth, usually by our dental laboratory. As a result, an indirect filling usually requires at least two visits to our office to finish.

During the first visit, we will take the measurements of the inlay or onlay that will be used to restore your tooth. During the second visit we will prepare and place the appliance in your tooth. Indirect fillings usually need to be fastened to your teeth via a permanent dental cement.

Gold Fillings

Gold is a fantastic material to use in tooth restoration because of the similar properties that it has with the teeth. Gold is known to feel the most like a real tooth of all the restorative materials. It is a long lasting and high quality tooth restoration option.

Gold restorations are made using the same methods as jewelers use to make gold jewelry – the lost wax technique. Using this crafting method the technician creates a wax pattern of the restoration and uses it to cast a gold filling or crown. Once the piece has been cast it is polished to the desired level and cemented into place.

Contrary to popular belief, gold fillings are not pure gold, rather they are a mixture of gold, copper, and silver. These other metals help to make the filling more durable and long lasting.

The advantages of having a gold filling placed are their uncanny ability to resist further decay and their similarity to the enamel of your natural tooth. Gold fillings offer one of the longest lasting fillings on the market to this day.

There are some distinct disadvantages to gold. Many people enjoy the appearance of gold fillings but there are some who find them distracting in the same way amalgam fillings are. They conduct heat and cold and require multiple visits to finish.

Porcelain Ceramic Fillings

Porcelain is the option that people turn to when they want a flawless and undetectable restoration of their original tooth. We use porcelain for veneers that fit over the front teeth because of how perfectly it matches the appearance of real teeth.

The process of applying porcelain inlays or onlays is very similar to the process of applying gold restorations.

Porcelain fillings are more brittle and therefore can be used in fewer circumstances than most of the rest of the materials used to complete fillings.

Please call us today at (571) 758-5889 to schedule an appointment. We recommend at least two trips to see us per year so that we can stay abreast of your dental health. We look forward to seeing your smile.

Monday: 10:00am–6:00pm
Tuesday: 7:30am–1:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am–5:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am–4:00pm
Friday: 8:00am–1:00 pm.

8230 Leesburg Pike
Suite 730
Vienna, VA 22182
Call: (571) 758-5889
Fax: (703) 893-5315

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