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Fillings in Arlington

man thrilled with new smileThe most common reason why a person would go to the dentist during their life is to have a tooth filled. The most common reason for needing a tooth to be filled is dental decay which means that plaque was allowed to sit on the teeth, and the bacteria digested part of the tooth. If the process continues, the bacteria will destroy the remaining tooth structure until there’s nothing left to fix. Therefore, the need to have a filling placed is necessary to be able to save the tooth.


What Materials Are Used?

  • Gold foil: Different materials have been used throughout time to be able to achieve this goal successfully, one of the earliest ones was gold. This came in the form of gold foil; because of the properties of gold, it can be simply pressed together layer by layer, creating a solid restoration that could remain in a tooth for many years.

    This technique has been used for many years in dentistry, and compared to other forms, this one used to be somewhat soft so that you would fill the cheek side or the tongue side of the tooth but not the chewing surface of the tooth because it would wear too fast. Today the price of gold makes it extremely expensive to work with.

  • Amalgam: Over 200 years ago, amalgam was introduced in the US and quickly became the material of choice for years to come due to its strength, affordability, and ease of use. The most common feature of dental amalgam is, of course, the fact that it contains mercury which is the material that allows for the process of amalgamation in which a metal alloy is mixed at room temperature, and it becomes hard enough to make a dental restoration. In a dental restoration, mercury is in a salt form that is not soluble in the human body, similar to table salt, which is composed of two poisonous elements but, when locked in a chemical bond, cannot harm us (when used in moderation). The least favorable of its qualities is aesthetics, as amalgam is not tooth colored; it looks like a piece of metal. The most important quality other than affordability and ease of use is its strength, capable of lasting in chewing function for 30 to 40 years.
  • Composite resin: Today’s most common material for dental restorations is composite resin, made of two main components: a very strong resin (plastic) and different types of silica glass. Throughout the years, composite resins have greatly improved from the days when we thought we could never bond them to the tooth surface.

    Modern composite resins are predictable and highly aesthetic, often very difficult for the human eye to differentiate because they are manufactured in many shades and hues, and with good technique; they look just like our natural teeth.

    Their weakest quality is their long-term performance when fully loaded. Dr. Reed would always remind patients that the kitchen knife we use daily is made from metal. Plastic knives are in the drawer but are preferably used only for cutting birthday cakes. So, the wear rate is not where we want it to be yet.

  • Indirect restorations: A stronger alternative would be indirect restorations which means that they’re made outside of the mouth, using digital or traditional impressions that are then sent to a dental lab or milled from solid blocks chairside in the office. These provide long-term performance similar to gold or amalgam restorations.

What to Expect

Before the filling procedure begins, Dr. Reed will first numb the area using a local anesthetic to ensure that you are comfortable and do not experience any pain during the procedure. Once the area is numb, your dentist will use a specialized drill or laser to remove any decayed or damaged parts of the tooth. This is done to create a clean and smooth surface for the filling material to bond with.

After preparing the tooth, Dr. Reed will then place the filling material into the cavity and shape it to fit the natural contours of your tooth. The material will then be hardened using a special light or chemical process. Once the filling is set, he will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your bite is comfortable and natural.

Safeguard Your Smile With a Filling

The earlier your dentist repairs your cavities, the smaller and more affordable your filling will be. Contact Arlington Dental today to book an appointment.


Fillings Arlington TX | (817) 303-5700