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What is a Tooth Filling?

Published on March 7, 2016

Post10When Dr. Ahmed tells patients they have a cavity and need to get a filling, they often ask “What is a tooth filling?” When you receive a filling, Dr. Ahmed removes the diseased or infected part of the tooth with a dental drill. He then uses filling material to cover the open spot.

Dental fillings help to preserve your tooth in addition to protecting it from additional decay. You could eventually lose a tooth if you neglect to have a simple cavity filled. A filling may also be necessary if one of your teeth has sustained a minor fracture.

Differences Between Composite and Metal Tooth Fillings

Alpha Dental is pleased to offer patients the option of composite fillings. This tooth-colored filling material closely matches the shade of your teeth, making it almost impossible for others to detect. Many patients prefer composite fillings for the improved aesthetics alone. It takes just one appointment for Dr. Ahmed to complete the process of applying a composite filling. These fillings resist staining better than other alternatives, but they can also be bulkier. To ensure that a ceramic filling remains firmly in your mouth, Dr. Ahmed may need to remove a small amount of tooth enamel before placing it.

Mercury makes up about half of the materials used in traditional metal fillings, which also go by the name silver amalgam fillings. Other materials include zinc, copper, tin, silver, and mercury. This was the treatment of choice for decades in the field of dentistry. However, many patients expressed concern about their appearance after receiving a metal filling as well as the remote possibility of mercury breaking free from the filling and entering their bloodstream. Since both types protect and preserve your tooth, you’re free to decide what works best for you.

Contact Us with Questions

Dr. Ahmed or a member of his staff would be happy to discuss the types of fillings in more detail when you discuss treatment planning with him. He will also let you know exactly what you can expect. If you suspect that you may have a cavity, we urge you not to delay in seeking treatment at Alpha Dental.


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