Ocean Dental Associates
622 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11223
New Patients: (718) 412-9693
Existing Patients: (718) 382-0707
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Dental Fillings

Restoring Teeth With Dental Fillings

When dental decay compromises a tooth's structural integrity, a filling gets placed to rebuild its natural form and restore its strength and function.

Because tooth decay, also known as dental caries, remains one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting both children and adults worldwide, procedures to place fillings are routinely performed each and every day.

At the office of Ocean Dental Associates, we provide precise and gentle treatment and maintain a position at the forefront of advances in care to provide patients with the highest quality of aesthetically pleasing and durable dental fillings.

The History Of Dental Fillings

dental fillings

According to archaeological findings, for as long as dental problems have existed, there have been efforts to provide emergency and restorative care. In fact, attempts to place dental fillings have been found in the skeletal remains of people who lived around the year 8000 BC. However, it wasn't until thousands and thousands of years later, in the 19th century, that a variety of metal fillings, including dental amalgam, appeared on the scene. Although gold achieved status as a popular restorative material, it was soon apparent that amalgam fillings, consisting of a mixture of mercury and an alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper, offered a less expensive, durable, and simpler alternative.

Until recent decades, the vast majority of dental fillings remained silver-colored, amalgam restorations. However, as dentistry has evolved in the last 50 years, new filling materials have been developed. While amalgam fillings are long-lasting and durable, today's newer materials offer the benefits of being mercury-free, metal-free, and much more aesthetic. These "tooth-colored or white fillings" invisibly restore the form and function of the involved tooth, while seamlessly blending in with the remaining tooth structure and the entire smile.

Our Commitment To Restoring Oral Health And Beautiful Smiles

At the office of Ocean Dental Associates, we tailor treatment to address specific dental needs and expectations of care. As with all the services our practice provides, we'll explain all your options in care, including the type of dental filling materials we offer to restore your tooth. Our goals are to gently remove the dental decay and the damaged tooth structure and then rebuild your tooth's form and function while providing you healthy, durable, long-lasting, and cosmetically pleasing results.

What are the different types of dental fillings?

While traditional dental materials like gold and amalgam have been in use for over a century, recent advances in dental technology have made a more expansive and improved selection of restorative choices widely available. Beyond offering strength and durability, these new filling materials provide aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking results.

Some commonly used filling materials include the following:

How are cavities treated?

dental fillings

Once our office has a chance to assess your smile, we'll advise you of our findings and outline a comprehensive treatment plan to help ensure your smile is healthy and functions at its best. If any tooth decay is detected, we'll schedule appointments to treat those cavities and place the fillings or restorations that are needed.

At the office of Ocean Dental Associates, patient care and comfort are our top priorities. While treating cavities and placing fillings are among the most routine procedures in dentistry, our office understands you have questions and concerns and will keep you well informed every step of the way.

Treating a cavity involves the precise and gentle removal of decayed and damaged tooth structure and any preparation of the remaining tooth structure needed to secure your new filling. Although every patient and every smile is different, you can expect your visit to take about an hour.

In most cases, this visit is performed under local anesthesia. As the work gets performed, your tooth is completely numb, and you should not feel any discomfort. A dental drill, dental laser, or air abrasion technology can be used to remove decay. Once the cavity gets excavated, and healthy tooth structure remains, it's time to place the filling. The type of dental filling material being used determines the manner of placement. Composite fillings, glass ionomer cements, and amalgam fillings are typically placed right away. However, in the case of an extensive cavity, a tiny palliative dressing and a temporary filling may be placed. Whatever type of filling is used, our office will check the fit, do any necessary polishing, and meticulously adjust the bite to ensure your optimal comfort and function.

For patients who are anxious about dental work, you can rest assured the office of Ocean Dental Associates is mindful of your needs. As skilled and experienced providers of care, we pride ourselves on providing gentle dentistry and do all we can to make your visit comfortable and stress-free. While we perform dental procedures under local anesthesia, we're also happy to discuss options in dental sedation.

What Do I Need To Know Following The Placement Of My New Filling?

dental fillings

At the office of Ocean Dental Associates, our goal is to help our patients enjoy optimal oral health and to keep them well informed every step of the way.

Immediately after the placement of a new filling, it's essential to keep the following in mind:

We're passionate about what we do and dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office.

FAQs On The Topic Of Dental Fillings

Are my teeth just sensitive, or do I have a cavity?

If the pleasure of eating a delicious bowl of ice cream or sipping a soothing cup of tea gets overshadowed by dental pain that makes you wince; it's time to contact our office. As skilled providers of care, we'll determine what's causing your discomfort and perform the treatment required to alleviate your symptoms and get you back on the road to oral health.

What causes a cavity to develop?

Cavities develop because of an infectious process that causes progressive damage to tooth structure. Despite starting as a pinpoint defect on the outermost enamel layer of your tooth, untreated dental decay progressively compromises more and more healthy tooth structure as it works its way to the inner layers of your tooth.

Can I still get a cavity if my tooth already has a filling?

Yes, you can still develop tooth decay on other surfaces of the tooth, around the margins of an old filling, or in fewer instances, recurrent decay underneath it. For this reason, it's essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene, a diet low in sugary beverages and sweets, and be sure to visit our office for routine checkups and care. While tooth decay is second only to the common cold in frequency, it's almost entirely preventable.

Is it possible to have more than one filling done at the same visit?

We value the time and comfort of our patients. If cavities are located on adjacent teeth, or in the same section of your smile, it may be possible to treat more than one tooth during your visit. However, how much is done each visit depends on several factors. We keep our patients well informed and tailor every treatment plan and visit to address their unique needs.

Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

Addressing concerns on the presence of elemental mercury in silver fillings, the American Dental Association (ADA), The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA, and the World Health Organization have all stated that amalgam restorations do not pose a risk to health. However, individuals with allergies or sensitivities to the metals in dental amalgam are advised to pursue other restorative options.

Does it hurt to get a filling?

Dental fillings are performed under local anesthesia to help ensure your comfort throughout the entire procedure. The involved tooth remains completely numb for the extent of your visit. Within one or two hours after the procedure is completed, the local anesthetic will gradually wear off, and normal sensations return.

When can I eat after my visit?

A tooth-colored composite filling is fully hardened and set by the end of your visit. However, we may advise you to wait a couple of hours until the local anesthesia has completely worn off. This advice is to help ensure you don't accidentally bite your lip, cheek, or tongue while still numb.

How long do dental fillings last?

The lifetime of a dental filling varies depending on the type of material used. While popular dental materials can last a decade or more with proper care, they can degrade over time, wear down, or even break. When this happens, you may experience some tooth sensitivity, a jagged edge, or a loose or dislodged piece of filling material. Whatever the case may be, it's essential to get the filling replaced before the tooth sustains further damage or other consequences arise. Beyond taking good care of your smile we can help ensure the longevity of your fillings, our office regularly checks the status of your existing fillings as part of a routine checkup exam.

How much do fillings cost?

Dental fillings are an essential investment that serves to preserve and protect the health of your smile. With that said, how much a filling costs depends on the number of surfaces of the tooth involved and the filling material that is used. Amalgam restorations are the most economical. While tooth-colored composite fillings have a slightly higher cost, they offer the added benefits of being metal-free and much more aesthetically pleasing. Ceramic fillings, inlays, and onlays are more expensive than the preceding options but provide outstanding, long-lasting, and natural-looking results.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of getting a filling?

Dental insurances typically cover the cost of dental fillings. While we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits, there may still be an out-of-pocket expense. At the office of Ocean Dental Associates, we strive to help you begin care without any additional financial stress or delay.

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