If you have a cavity (tooth decay) in one of your teeth, the solution is typically always one or more dental fillings. A filling serves to limit the damage caused by cavities, preserve and protect the remaining tooth structure, allow the tooth to function properly again (without pain), maintain pulp and nerve vitality if possible, and preserve the function, appearance, and life of the tooth.
Fillings are materials that fill in the decayed section of a tooth. Our dentist in Uptown Houston, nearby the Galleria, applies the material to the problematic tooth and shapes and bonds it to the tooth.
There are a few different options when it comes to choosing a filling: silver (amalgam), white (composite), and gold inlay (or onlay). The best way to determine which of these will work for you is to talk to your dentist, but a brief description of each option is provided below.
Silver fillings are durable but have several drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being properly protected. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings also contain 50 percent mercury, which can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations or composites.
There are many advantages to composites or tooth-colored restorations, which is why we prefer these at our Uptown Houston/Galleria dental office. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in composite dental fillings contains fluoride, it can help prevent decay. The resin wears similarly to natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
If your cavity is small and caught early, Dr. Nguyen will use a tooth-colored composite resin to restore the tooth. You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays) in our Uptown Houston, TX dental office located by the Galleria. This process requires two appointments.