Long Island Gentle Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are one of the most routine procedures we perform at our multi-specialty practice in Long Island. By design, they’re made to rebuild, repair, and restore small areas of tooth structure that have decayed due to an active cavity.
What Causes Cavities?
Tooth decay is a result of acid exposure or an acidic environment inside of the mouth. Things like sugars, carbohydrates, and acidic foods or drinks can all start to etch tooth enamel, weakening it to the point that a small hole (cavity) forms in its surface.
To prevent tooth decay, we recommend a balanced diet, regular fluoride supplementation (through toothpaste, professional applications, and tap water) and daily brushing and flossing.
Fortunately, early signs of decay — like enamel demineralization — can be reversed when intercepted early enough. But the moment an active cavity forms, it’s vital to treat the area before the decay spreads to adjacent teeth or deeper into the nerve.
The sooner a cavity is treated, the less invasive the restoration will be to your tooth. Getting a filling early on can prevent the need for more advanced treatments, like a crown or root canal.
Tooth Colored Fillings vs. Silver Amalgam Fillings
Today, most of the fillings we perform in our Suffolk County dental practice are made of tooth colored composite materials. There are a number of advantages when you get a white filing compared to traditional amalgam (metal) used in years past. Here are just a few worth considering:
White fillings are…
• Less invasive to the tooth, because they bond directly to your enamel
• Custom matched to blend in with the overall color of your tooth
• Tighter against the tooth, limiting leakage and recurring decay
• Free of mercury, which is a concern for some of our patients
• Able to strengthen teeth when they contain added fluoride ions
• Capable of being placed on smooth surfaces
• More aesthetically pleasing
While a composite filling is bonded straight onto a tooth, a silver filling has to be wedged in place by back-cutting some of the enamel, relying on the shape of the restoration to keep it wedged inside of the tooth. This means it’s more invasive and requires removal of healthy structure that otherwise could be left intact.
However, there are some situations where a traditional silver filling may be more appropriate. For instance, areas of the mouth that are difficult to keep dry during treatment can be filled with an amalgam restoration without a risk of it failing a short time thereafter. This can be helpful in hard-to-reach areas, in wiggly children, or for individuals with special needs.
Amalgam restorations used to be much cheaper than white fillings, but that gap is rapidly closing. Due to advancements in tooth colored materials and them being more readily available, it’s usually not much — if any — of a price difference to opt for a tooth colored restoration.
Benefits of Filling a Tooth
Placing a filling into your tooth prevents the spread of decay and protects the structural integrity of your enamel. Obviously, it’s better when our Long Island dentists can treat the cavity while it’s still small. This prevents the decay from spreading and involving a larger surface area, which can lead to cracked or broken teeth.
Additionally, modest fillings are an essential step toward preventing problems such as dental emergencies and abscessed teeth. Because an active cavity will not go away on its own, the only option is to fill it or allow it to expand. Once the infection gets deep enough it can destroy the nerve inside of the tooth, requiring a root canal or even an extraction.
Are There Risks to Getting a Filling?
There are more risks to not getting a filling than there are getting one. As with any type of medical or dental procedure, there are rare risks or complications to consider. At Sachem Dental Group, our multi-specialty dentists have over 35 years of experience treating patients in Long Island. Here, you’re in great hands!
Cost of Dental Fillings in Long Island
Dental fillings are basic procedures that are normally partially covered by your insurance. Depending on your particular policy, this is usually somewhere around 80%, give or take.
Filling prices depend on which tooth is being treated, the number of surfaces involved, and the type of material that you choose. Another factor to consider is where you live, due to cost of living for the area.
At the time of your appointment, our Suffolk County dental office will provide you with an itemized treatment plan that outlines the fees involved for the type of filling that you’re getting, as well as your estimated insurance benefits. That way you know how much to plan on paying out of pocket.
Who are Fillings Recommended For?
Any time there’s a cavity in a tooth — whether you’re a child or an adult — it’s important to eradicate the decay from your mouth. Primary (baby) teeth by nature are more prone to cavities expanding at a faster rate, so scheduling a checkup every six months is key to diagnosing problems while they’re still small.
Adults may need to have new fillings if their old ones are starting to leak or wear out. Some of our Long Island patients have never had a cavity in their lives until they reach adulthood. Because we strive to help limit the development of problems like decay and gum disease, our team is a great resource to have on your side.
When to See a Suffolk County Dentist
Symptoms of tooth decay can vary from person to person. Some of the signs to look out for include:
• Sensitivity to sweets (including artificial sugars)
• Pain when biting down
• Feeling a new or developing rough area on the tooth
• Problems with floss or food catching between teeth
• A visible discoloration or hole
• Something feeling “off” with your tooth
Start by scheduling a checkup at Sachem Dental Group. We’ll take an X-ray of your tooth and evaluate the area to determine the source of the problem, then make a recommendation on the next best steps.
Our multi-specialty clinic has been serving Suffolk County for over three decades. Call today to request an appointment!