Dental fillings halt damage and preserve teeth

Tooth-colored fillings offer a beautifully natural looking restoration that bonds to the tooth. Often times these tooth-colored fillings also allow for a more conservative tooth preparation saving more of your natural tooth structure. We closely match the color of the filling to your existing tooth for a restoration that may not even be able to be noticed!

Dental fillings halt damage and preserve teeth

At Westlake Family Dentistry, we can rebuild a portion of a damaged tooth and replace tooth structure lost due to decay or other trauma. Led by Dr. Brad Sievert, our practice in Lake Oswego, Oregon, works with patients to preserve as much natural and healthy tooth structure as possible. For instance, “simple” fillings represent a conservative alternative to more extensive dental restorations (such as partial crowns and full-coverage porcelain crowns).

Fillings and other restorations are also preferred to the loss of the tooth. Extractions followed by tooth replacement are almost always a “last resort” treatment. By partnering with our team on good oral hygiene practices at home and regular checkups and cleanings at our practice, you will likely never encounter the possibility of extracting and replacing a tooth. The notable exception is impacted wisdom teeth. Removing those that fail to develop correctly resolves pain and prevents all sorts of complications.

Fillings explained

Food particles and bacteria not removed from the teeth with proper and consistent brushing and flossing combine to produce plaque. The bacteria in this sticky plaque film further produce acids that trigger the process of tooth decay. Dental decay erodes at the enamel of the tooth. Enamel erosion can be reversed and halted in its earliest stages with oral care products and hygiene techniques. Untreated, tooth decay can present as holes in the surface of the teeth. These holes are known as cavities. To prevent further destruction of the tooth, we may encourage you to get the damaged area “filled” sooner rather than later.

As with other types of restorations, fillings can be made with a variety of dental materials. Dr. Sievert is happy to discuss options with you, including gold. We also offer non-metal (tooth-colored) options that are designed with composite resin or ceramics like porcelain. Patients may appreciate these latter options because they can perfectly match the surrounding tooth structure and neighboring teeth. Porcelain alone is often heralded for its natural appearance, stain resistance, and its durability and strength.

Steps to a restored tooth

Techniques can vary, depending on the filling material that is used. However, all fillings are generally designed and placed in similar ways; first, all of the damaged tooth structure is removed. Second, the natural tooth is prepared (cleaned and “shaped”) to accommodate the filling. Third, the filling material is applied to precisely fit the damaged surface of the tooth. Once bonded or secured to the natural tooth, the filling fits like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. You won’t feel anything with our gentle techniques, precision anesthetic, and our other options to keep you relaxed. Treated teeth remain healthy for a lifetime with proper care!

Please schedule an appointment today at our practice in Lake Oswego, proudly serving West Linn, South Portland, and the surrounding areas. Call Westlake Family Dentistry at (503) 636-4576.