Dental Fillings in Washington DC
In order to begin the dental filling treatment, the dentist will place a numbing gel on your gums, tongue, and inner cheek, followed by injecting an anesthetic into your gums before carrying out the filling process. After allowing about ten minutes for the numbing to take effect, the dentist must eliminate any decayed material.
He or she typically removes decay with the widely recognized dental drill, but we also offer air abrasion technology. This technique uses an air jet and aluminum particles to blast away the decayed portion of the tooth gently. We’ll also remove a small amount of the remaining healthy material to ensure no decay remains.
Once the dentist is sure all the decay has been eliminated, they will fill the space left behind. We now have several different options when it comes to dental filling materials, with a couple being more widely used than others.
- Amalgam: This is the least expensive choice and the easiest with which to work. Dental amalgam consists of silver, tin, zinc, and copper, with mercury used to bind those metals together and create a strong bond. Though it’s malleable at first, it will quickly harden to provide strength and durability equal to that of your natural teeth. Amalgam also helps keep excess bacteria from forming on teeth.
- Composites: Dental composites are made of a mixture of glass and plastic. Composite fillings can be more expensive than those made of amalgam, but they are also less noticeable, so many patients prefer them. These more closely resemble teeth in color, and hues can be added to render them an almost exact match to your natural teeth. They offer the same strength of amalgam, but are more prone to staining from coffee, tea, nicotine, and age.
Gold, ceramic, and ionomer fillings are also available, but these are not as popular, nor practical, as the other choices.
Once the filling procedure is completed, you may need to wait a certain amount of time before eating solid foods. The team will advise you on this based on your specific circumstances.
Indirect Dental Restoration Options
When teeth have been damaged too severely to be filled, or the location of a cavity makes filling an impractical solution, indirect restoration can be a beneficial solution. Inlays are placed in the cusp of the tooth, just inside the inner edges of the chewing surface. Onlays may cover one or more tip of a tooth as well as a portion of the cusp. Crowns cover the chewing surface entirely.
Most are now made of composites, porcelain, or ceramic, with some temporary crowns being composed of stainless steel. The long restoration process is similar to that of a filling with a few extra components.
The dentist will need to numb your gums and surrounding soft tissues with topical and injected anesthetics. Then, they will remove the unhealthy portion of your tooth if decay is the reason behind the procedure.
The remainder of your tooth will be filed so the restoration materials will adhere to it more securely. An impression of your tooth will be made to be sent to a lab where your crown, inlay, or onlay will be created. After applying a sealant, and possibly a temporary crown, the team will schedule your appointment for placement of the apparatus.
When you return to the office, the dentist will need to affix the permanent onlay, inlay, or crown to your tooth using dental cement. They will smooth any rough or uneven areas and make sure your bite is even and comfortable. Strength and functionality will be returned while the pain you may have felt before the procedure will be eliminated.
A Viable Solution for a Variety of Situations
Direct and indirect restoration techniques are less costly and extensive alternatives when only a portion of your tooth is damaged, and we have a variety of materials available to fit your needs and budget. These procedures aren’t appropriate for everyone, but we can discuss your unique situation to determine which approach would be best for you. Learn about our full-mouth restorations.
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Dr. Pollowitz and his team have been incredible. They squeezed me in the day I called as a new client after I was in a traumatic accident. Dr. Pollowitz personally contacted a team of professionals to coordinate same day appointments as well as ongoing treatment. I don’t know what I would have done without this office’s kindness and compassion. They have treated me as family and have made a scary path to recovery feel a lot less intimidating. Thank you for all of your bright smiles and warm hearts. I am forever grateful.