When a tooth has been damaged by infection the decay will need to be removed and the cavity filled. A filling will restore the tooth and protect it from the harmful bacteria that could cause further deterioration. There are several options for filling materials depending on the location of the tooth and how extensive the decay is. You should discuss any concerns about cost or insurance issues with your dentist before a final decision is made.

There are pros and cons associated with any kind of dental filling material. Gold for instance, is noted for strength and stability but a gold colored filling will obviously be more noticeable than a tooth colored composite. It will cost significantly more as well.

A tooth colored composite filling is chosen in part for its aesthetic value. Today’s technology can match the color to that of the surrounding natural teeth so closely that no one will notice the difference. It will take a bit longer to apply however, and a composite filling is less durable than some others.

A silver amalgam filling is a composite material containing silver, zinc and copper along with a healthy dose of mercury. The material is strong and able to withstand the pressure of daily chewing. It is often used for larger fillings in the back teeth where the silver color won’t be so noticeable. Amalgam material is not as compatible to hot or cold sensations and may be more prone to expand and contract in response. The constant adjustment can make the filling more susceptible to breakage.

After a thorough evaluation your dentist will be able to begin. The first step will be to remove the decay and the old filling that may be left behind. Once that is done the dentist will clean and rinse to be sure the area is free of bacteria. When that has been determined the filling will be layered into the socket, cured and polished.

Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry is able to apply the advanced x-ray technology that allows him to share results right along with his patients. Call for a consultation @ 509-926-6261.