Dental cavities are a common problem that develop when bacteria attack your enamel. In the past, cavities were restored with an amalgam material, a combination of metals including mercury, tin, and silver. We now know that these metal fillings don't adhere to the enamel, that the metals leech deep into the tooth, can cause tooth fractures, and that mercury exposure can be hazardous to your overall health. At Radiant Dental Care in Haslet, TX, Dr. William Shattuck only utilizes bonded tooth-colored fillings made with a composite resin to fill cavities and protect the tooth. If you are interested in removing the amalgam fillings in your mouth, Dr. Shattuck can do so in a safe and effective way while preserving as much of your natural tooth as possible.
Once the decay is removed, composite resin tooth-colored fillings cover the decayed area in the tooth. Composite resin is a useful material that may be used to address other issues with your teeth, such as chips or excessive wear on the enamel caused by bruxism (teeth grinding). Since the material is tinted to blend with your teeth, fillings may be placed on both the back and front teeth for a natural and beautiful look. If you have amalgam fillings, talk to Dr. Shattuck about getting them taken out and re-done with composite resin.
What To Expect
Receiving a tooth-colored filling at Radiant Dental Care is usually a simple procedure. The treatment area will be numbed using a local anesthetic to make you feel comfortable. Other sedation like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be used at your request should you have any fears or anxieties regarding the procedure. After you're ready, the infected enamel can be cleared away using a dental drill that Dr. Shattuck will choose based upon the location of the cavity and the amount of decay. Once the remaining healthy enamel is treated and the area is disinfected, the tooth structure that was removed will be replaced with the composite resin and bonded in place. Dr. Shattuck will smooth and shape the filling material so it matches your other teeth.
You will be able to return to your day once your tooth-colored filling is complete. Dr. Shattuck uses a special bond designed to prevent post filling sensitivity that can be common at other offices. However, for excessively large fillings you may notice a sensitivity to cold and hot food and beverages for 1 – 3 days. You can use nonprescription pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to treat discomfort; however, you shouldn't experience any serious problems. If your filling seems high or uneven, or if you notice a significant change to the way you bite down please call us. Your filling should be cleaned by following a regular home care routine including daily flossing and brushing. At each of your regular exams, Dr. Shattuck performs regular checks of all preexisting fillings as well as fillings done in our office to ensure they remain in optimal shape.
Composite resin fillings are a standard treatment for dental cavities that are typically partially covered by insurance. A team member will talk to your dental insurance company to understand your coverage so we can calculate the cost of all your needed treatment. If you don't have dental insurance, we will discuss the payment methods we accept as well as payment plans, our in-office discount plan, and information on financing via CareCredit at your appointment.
Cavities may begin as small problems, but it is crucial to have them fixed before they develop into bigger issues. At Radiant Dental Care in Haslet, TX, tooth decay and cavities may be corrected with composite resin fillings. If you think you or your child may have tooth decay, contact us to schedule an exam with Dr. Shattuck.