Archive | Composite Fillings

What are the advantages of composite resin fillings?

When patients think of cavities, they are often familiar with the treatment option: fillings. Fillings are a common and routine dental treatment that is performed by Dr. Steven Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM. In his practice, we uses fillings when patients have areas of decay that need to be treated. Cavities are treated with fillings to keep them from getting larger, deeper, and becoming a more serious—and expensive—problem in the future.

What is a dental filling?

A filling is a material that is used to seal off a tooth and fill an area that has been lost due to decay. The idea behind the filling is to protect the tooth from further damage, while restoring the structure so it can function properly. In the past, many dentists used a material known as silver amalgam. This material is made of approximately 50% mercury, a substance that is toxic to the human body. Instead of putting patients at risk for mercury toxicity, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook uses a material known as composite resin instead. There are a few benefits of composite resin fillings for patients to consider:

  • Composite resin fillings are made of a safe and biocompatible material that can be  used in the smile without side effects or consequences.
  • Composite resin fillings do not expand and contract with temperature changes, ensuring a tight fit and protection from bacteria entering into the tooth.
  • Composite resin fillings are the same color as tooth enamel, allowing them to be difficult to discern from the natural tooth structure.

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook encourages patients to ask him about tooth-colored fillings and how they can not only restore the tooth, but maintain the confidence and beauty of an attractive smile!

Learn more about dental fillings

If you reside in the Albuquerque, NM area and want to speak with our dentist about comprehensive dental care and the importance of dental fillings, we invite you to call the office at (505) 881-1159 and visit our practice at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NC Ste. C. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his staff work closely with patients to help them in addressing their dental needs.

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How to Tell if You Need a New Filling

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, that’s true when it comes to your dental fillings. Although your filling may have saved your tooth during a cavity, the average composite filling only lasts 10 to 15 years, but sometimes it can last a lot longer. If you have had a filling for at least that long, you may be wondering when on earth you should have it replaced? Let’s go over a few signs.

Food Gets Stuck In One Spot

Does it seem like every time you eat a meal that you’re always picking food out of one part of your mouth? When a filling falls out, it opens back up that hole in your tooth which make sit easy for food to get trapped inside of it. Until you get your filling redone, try rinsing your tooth with water after you eat to get rid of any bacteria, extra food, or germs.

Tooth Sensitivity

Often, when a filling falls out, it can cause a lot of tooth sensitivity. If you have started to experience tooth sensitivity to both hot and cold food when you go to eat something, then this may be a sign that you need to get a new dental filling.

A hole in your tooth

The most significant way for you to spot whether or not you have a missing filling is to look at your tooth. Is there a black or brown spot on it? Does it seem like there’s a hole in the tooth? These are all signs that your filling fell out and that you need to have it replaced.

General Tooth Pain

If you are experiencing general tooth pain in the tooth that has a filling in it, then you may need to have a filing put on the tooth again, or it may be a sign that you have new bacteria in your tooth and that you need a root canal.

If you suspect that you have a missing filling, but you aren’t sure, then schedule a dental appointment with us and call our Albuquerque office at (505) 881-1159.

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FAQs About Filings

Dental Fillings, Albuquerque, NMIf you have lived thus far without having to get a filling, then you deserve a serious pat on the back. Fillings are one of the most common oral procedures that we do at our office for patients who have a cavity. But even though they are familiar to us, it doesn’t mean that they are familiar to you. To help you get ready for your appointment, let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions about this procedure.

FAQ: Are They Permanent?

Similar to other oral appliances, fillings aren’t permanent and will likely have to be replaced at one point in your life. However, they are really strong and durable as long as you take care of them really well.

FAQ: What Is the Procedure Like?

Before you come into our office to have your tooth filled we will go over the procedure with you briefly, but let’s reiterate. To start out, we will numb your tooth and Dr. Holbrook will remove the decay. After the decay has been removed, he will thoroughly clean the area. The composite filling will then be placed, shaped, and polished which will restore your tooth to its original function and shape.

FAQ: What Does It Look Like?

Usually, Dr. Holbrook uses composite fillings that are tooth colored and should blend in fairly well with your natural tooth. Some patients can’t see it, but other patients will notice that it’s a little bit lighter than their natural tooth. Either way, it’s not something that anybody else but you and Dr. Holbrook will ever notice.

FAQ: How Do I Take Care Of It?

When we send you home after your tooth has been filled we will give you a list of instructions on how to take care of your tooth. Usually, it’s very basic and includes avoiding foods that are extremely hard or chewy, brushing your teeth on a regular basis, and getting frequent exams.

Now that you know a few of the basics about composite fillings, it’s time to get in Dr. Holbrooks dental chair. Contact Dr. Holbrook today and call us at our Albuquerque office at (505) 881-1159.

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Silver Is Out – Composites Are In

Composite Fillings | Albuquerque, NMSilver (amalgam) dental fillings have been the go-to way to fill cavities on the back teeth for years. But that silver look is quickly becoming passé. Seeing silver on your molars when you talk or laugh is not a good look. Dr. Holbrook offers composite fillings as a replacement for an older filling or to fill a new cavity.

Composite fillings are made of tooth-colored, quartz-like materials and can be done in one dental visit, similar to amalgam fillings. When placing composite fillings, the decayed material is removed, and the tooth is cleaned and sterilized. The cavity is filled layer by layer with the composite filling. After each layer is placed, it is hardened with a curing light. Then the next layer is applied until the process is complete. The end result is an invisible restoration, in contrast to the dark silver of an amalgam filling.

Composite fillings can be used to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth, close the space between teeth, repair worn teeth…and, of course, fill cavities.

Composite fillings have advantages and disadvantages when compared to silver amalgam fillings:
Composite fillings:

  • Are aesthetically pleasing
  • Are made from non-toxic materials (amalgam contains a variety of metals, including mercury)
  • Bond to the tooth surface for added strength
  • Protect the tooth structure – the healthy tooth material surrounding the cavity does not need to be removed

However, composite fillings:

  • Cost more because the composite material is more expensive
  • Take more time
  • Last about half the time of amalgam fillings

Do you have questions about your existing amalgam fillings or want to learn more about the aesthetic results of composite fillings? Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holbrook, today: (505) 881-1159.

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