Family Dentistry

Federal Way, Washington

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to repair cavities or minor fractures in the teeth. If a patient has experienced a small to medium-sized hole growing in the tooth as a result of decay, it can be repaired with a filling. This common procedure is easy to schedule and is often covered by dental insurance. 


Why Get Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings can help even out the tooth's surface, fill in areas that are sunken in because of decay, and restore full jaw function. Often, an individual who is suffering from tooth decay also copes with some degree of pain or sensitivity due to the erosion of enamel. These issues are usually dramatically improved when a dentist removes the decay and places the filling.

The dentist must thoroughly inspect the teeth and decide on a treatment plan for the patient. Dental fillings are best for treating minor issues. Cosmetic dental fillings are also an option. If the patient is experiencing more severe decay or a fracture, they may need more dramatic treatment. Deeper cavities may require crowns or implants to repair, for example. The dentist can use a dental probe and X-rays to evaluate the severity of tooth decay.

What Materials Are There for Dental Fillings?

There are numerous options for materials for filling and sealing cavities. These can help limit additional tooth decay. The most common material for fillings is a tooth-colored composite material.  This material allows the dentist to be as conservative as possible.  When placed in an uncontaminated manner and when adequate home care is maintained by the patient, these fillings can last a very long time.  There can be isolated situations that force us to look at other filling material options.  All of this will be discussed prior to any fillings being placed.

How Are Dental Fillings Applied?

First, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic so that the area of the mouth the dentist will be working in is numb. This helps keep the patient more comfortable throughout the process.  We try to utilize a dental dam as often as possible.  This allows us to keep the area uncontaminated.  It also dramatically reduces the amount of aerosols being created, which is now more important than ever because of things like COVID 19.  The damaged tooth is then prepared for the filling. All damaged parts are removed, the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the cavity itself is filled. Composite fillings must be kept dry. Then, a mixture of materials is placed on the tooth and hardened with a light that bonds them together. The tooth is then polished to complete the procedure. 


Dental Fillings in Federal Way, WA

If you've experienced one or more cavities and you need to have them filled, contact us at Avalon Family Dentistry for an evaluation. We can come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. 

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