Tooth Fillings

Repairing Cavities in Irving TX

Cavities are caused when the acidic by-products of bacteria break down tooth enamel, causing damage or decay of the tooth structure. Cavities do not heal themselves, and must be treated promptly to prevent serious damage to the tooth.

Early detection of tooth decay is important in order to prevent the decay from reaching the tooth pulp. Once a cavity has progressed deep enough into the tooth structure to cause pain, it can also cause infection and damage to the vital structures inside the tooth. Repair of a cavity that extends into the tooth pulp may require root canal therapy and/or a crown. When treated early, cavities can be repaired with a simple filling.

One of the best ways to detect cavities early is with an annual DIAGNOdent digital screening. Ask for this advanced screening at your next dental check-up.

When You Need a Filling

When a tooth has decay, clinically known as dental caries, the only way to stop the progression is to remove the diseased portion of the tooth and “fill” the area with a strong dental restorative. Materials used in fillings may include porcelain, ceramic and composite (commonly known as a tooth-colored filling).

There are two main types of fillings, and Dr. Dunn will consult with you in detail about which method of repair is the best option for ensuring strength, durability, appearance and longevity.

  • Direct fillings are placed immediately after the decayed part of the tooth is removed. The most common materials used in this type of filling are glass ionomers, resin ionomers and composite. These types of fillings are both strong, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing. The materials used mimic the tooth enamel in both appearance and color, making them almost undetectable when you talk, laugh and smile.
  • Indirect fillings, used when larger areas are affected, include inlays, onlays and other restorative procedures. They are often made of ceramics, or composites. With this type of filling, the tooth is prepared and an impression taken. A temporary restoration is placed and the final restoration is custom designed by the dental laboratory. Once the restoration is ready, the final restoration is installed in the prepared tooth.

Making Your Filling Appointments Comfortable

A dental filling may be one of the simplest of dental treatments, but we understand that many patients experience stress and fear about undergoing dental procedures. In order to ensure your comfort and provide a calm and relaxing experience, Dr. Jerry Dunn combines his expertise in dental anesthetics with variable levels of sedation. Ask us about your options for sedation dentistry to choose the option that is best for you.