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(931) 645-8000 |

Jennifer J. Cornell | DDS, FAGD
Caleb T. King | DMD


The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. The traditional filling material is the silver amalgam.  This restorative material has been around for ages and stills serves a purpose in restoring teeth from decay and in some instances fracture of the back teeth.

With today’s advancements in materials we as dental professionals can now use tooth colored bonded material in the back teeth where in the past this material was not as strong on only used in the non-load bearing front teeth.  Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.

Comparing White Fillings Versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:

  • White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking over time. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; whitefilling material can actually save time and money in the long run
  • White filling composites are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
  • Restorations with composites require less removal of tooth, less structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.
  • Silver amalgam fillings are less expensive and still used today for those who feel they cannot afford white fillings.
  • Silver amalgam fillings can over time stain the tooth a dark grey to black color around the margins of the filling. This is not so with white composite fillings.
  • There has been much talk about the health risks associated with silver amalgam material. The American Dental Association continues to stand behind this filling material and has found no credible scientific research to back such claims.
  • Any time there is not enough tooth structure remaining to hold a filling an indirect restoration such as a porcelain onlay or full coverage crown may be needed.

Dental filling procedure.

The majority of the time it is necessary to numb the area for a dental restorative filling. One the area is confirm to be numb the decay and tooth structure are removed. The “cavity prep” is crafted by the dentist to properly hold the new filling material. It is important to keep the area dry while the filling material is applied to the tooth. We use a variety of things to assist with a dry field. The use of cotton rolls, dry angles and even our Isolite will be used to assure a dry working field. If the preparation is deep due to decay or faulty tooth structure a “liner” or base material will be placed as a sort of barrier to protect the pulp or vital structure of the tooth. The tooth is then etched or conditioned, bonding material is applied and cured and finally the filling material is layered and cured. The dentist then shapes the material and polishes it. Our offices is also fortunate to have some expanded function personnel who have had extra training to “place” fillings. But, the dentist is still required to the preparation and final polishing and checking of the bite.

Post op

New Dental fillings can be sensitive for up to a few weeks. This is because the material expands and contracts with temperature change. The use of sensitive toothpaste can minimize this. When a patient is numb it may be challenging to confirm their bite while adjusting it at the end. Therefore, we ask all our patients to check their bite over the course of a week or so after the filling and if they have a concern to call our office to schedule a bite adjustment if they feel it is not correct.

We work hard to exceed your expectations by providing the highest level of surgical excellence as well as a fun and pampering environment for all patients. This outstanding combination of skill and attentive concern for every patient’s comfort makes Back 2 Basics Dentistry the best choice, where our goal is always to help you Smile More!