The Secrets to Tooth-Saving Fillings

Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee

Fillings are the most common treatment in restorative dentistry, and they’re available at any dentist you might choose. But while fillings are common, they’re not all the same. In fact, there’s a huge variation between the quality of fillings delivered by dentists. Science has shown that the dentist who places your filling may actually play a significant role in whether you develop more cavities in that tooth or adjacent teeth.

So how does a dentist ensure your fillings are tooth-saving and not tooth-threatening? By adhering to the principles of biomimetic dentistry, drawing from his extensive training, and relying on his native talent and excellent staff, Nashville cosmetic dentist Dr. Kent E. White delivers fillings of an incomparable quality.

Choose the Right Material

In biomimetic dentistry we learn that the best restorations are those that are closest to the natural tooth material. That is why (among other reasons) metal amalgam is a poor choice for fillings. It doesn’t respond to heat the way natural tooth material does, which can lead to sensitivity, cracked teeth, and secondary decay. Metal amalgam fillings are often praised for their durability, and this is true. They can last for decades, but the same is not always true for the tooth that received the filling. The filling can often outlive the tooth, which may need to be repaired or even extracted.

Dental fillings

Composite fillings are a better choice. Because they bond directly to the tooth material, they create a tight seal, and their flexibility allows them to respond to pressures in a way similar to natural teeth.

But composite fillings are weaker than enamel and dentin, so they may not last as long as we would like. They can be easily replaced as necessary without much trouble.

For longer-lasting results, a ceramic filling may be the right choice. Ceramic fillings are as strong as enamel, though not as flexible as dentin. A ceramic filling is also resistant to staining, so it maintains its attractiveness for decades. And it helps preserve the tooth where it’s placed.

Proper Preparation of the Tooth

The trick in preparing a tooth for a filling is to remove all the decay while maintaining the sound portions of the tooth. A dentist’s skill and judgement makes a big difference here.

Some dentists are content to use large fillings if that makes it easier for them to access and place the filling. Dr. White is very careful to prepare the tooth to maintain healthy tooth material and, especially, the structural integrity of the tooth. The goal is not just to remove decay but to maintain strength.

Proper preparation of the tooth also depends on a deft hand, something not all dentists can claim. Dr. White’s skill at preparations helps ensure the quality of restorations that he produces.

Proper Placement of the Restoration

Once the tooth has been prepared, it’s ready to receive the restoration. For composite fillings, this is done right away. A successful composite depends on many aspects of a dentist’s technique, such as the choice of the proper consistency material, placing the filling so it leaves no gaps or voids, and layering of the filling to ensure it is properly cured (hardened).

Ceramic fillings have delayed placement and they depend on a properly designed temporary and excellent impression techniques by Dr. White and his assistants. It also benefits from working with an outstanding dental lab that creates fillings to Dr. White’s exact specifications.

With extreme attention to detail in the finishing step, Dr. White is able to ensure the fitting is properly sealed and fits perfectly in your healthy bite.

Are You Ready for Advanced Dentistry?

If you are tired of mundane dentistry with unpredictable and unimpressive results, we invite you to visit the Center for Advanced Dentistry, where we put great care into every procedure we perform, from the simplest filling to the most complex smile makeover.

Please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with Nashville cosmetic dentist Dr. Kent E. White.