Dental Fillings

Comprehensive Guide to Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings Procedure in Kokomo Family Dentistry

Oral health is much more than just a pretty smile—it provides a window into your overall heath.  Recent research findings are constantly supporting this powerful statement, underscoring the critical connection between dental health and general well-being. Maintaining that healthy smile requires more than just brushing twice a day; it involves regular check-ups, flossing, and a keen awareness of oral health issues such as cavities.

Have you ever experienced that sharp, sudden pain when you bite into a cold ice cream or drink a hot beverage? That could be a sign of a cavity, a common dental problem that affects people worldwide. Cavities occur when tooth enamel is weakened by bacteria-produced acids, creating small holes in your teeth. But fear not, because dental fillings are here to save the day. By filling these cavities after removing the decayed part and cleaning the area, dental fillings not only alleviate the pain but also prevent further decay, ensuring that your smile remains bright and healthy.


A dental cavity, often referred to as tooth decay or dental caries, is a prevalent oral health concern that results from the gradual demineralization and deterioration of the hard tissues of the tooth, primarily the enamel and dentin. This condition is caused by a complex interplay of various factors and understanding these is pivotal for effective prevention and treatment.

Understanding the causes of dental cavities involves delving into our dietary habits, oral hygiene practices, and the biology of our teeth. Here are the main factors that contribute to cavity formation:

1. Dietary Habits: Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches can lead to cavity formation. These substances provide fuel for oral bacteria, which produce harmful acids.

2. Plaque Formation: These acid producing bacteria combine with saliva and food debris to form a sticky film known as plaque. If not removed promptly through proper oral hygiene, plaque adheres to teeth and begins the erosion process.

3. Enamel Erosion: The acid produced by bacteria in plaque leads to the erosion of tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth. This erosion creates small openings or cavities in the teeth.

4. Progressive Decay: If left unchecked, these cavities can grow larger and deeper, affecting the inner layers of the tooth and leading to more severe dental problems.

Cavities often start small and may not cause noticeable symptoms at first. However, as they grow larger and begin to affect deeper layers of your teeth, they can give rise to a host of symptoms.

The onset of these symptoms typically signals the progression of decay and the need for immediate attention. Here's what you need to watch out for and how cavities are diagnosed:

1. Tooth Sensitivity: Initial signs of a cavity may include sensitivity or mild to sharp pain when consuming sweet, hot, or cold foods and drinks.

2. Visible Damage: As the cavity grows, visible holes or pits may appear in the affected teeth.

3. Tooth Discoloration: Brown, black, or white stains on any surface of a tooth can be an indication of a cavity.

4. Pain: Pain when biting down can be a sign of an advanced cavity.

5. Professional Diagnosis: If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's essential to see a dentist. They can diagnose cavities through a thorough examination of your teeth, using tools like a dental probe, X-rays, or laser fluorescence cavity detection aids.

Regular dental check-ups are not just about cleaning your teeth; they're also about catching potential problems like cavities early on. So, make sure to keep up with your dental appointments for a healthy smile.

At Kokomo Family Dentistry, we understand the importance of dental fillings in treating cavities and maintaining our patients' oral health. Our approach is centered around providing comprehensive and personalized care for every patient.

A Child With Dental Fillings at Kokomo Family Dentistry

Cavities can wreak havoc on your oral health if left untreated. At Kokomo Family Dentistry, we utilize dental fillings as a crucial tool to combat this issue:

1. Tooth Restoration: Our dental fillings restore the damaged part of the tooth, allowing it to function normally again.

2. Prevention of Further Decay: Our fillings work to close off spaces where bacteria can enter, helping prevent further decay.

3. Pain Relief: Cavities often cause discomfort and pain. By filling the cavity, we aim to eliminate the source of pain, enhancing your comfort.

4. Cost-effective Treatment: At Kokomo Family Dentistry, we believe in providing cost-effective solutions. Compared to more complex procedures like root canals or tooth extractions, dental fillings offer an affordable solution to treat cavities.

Our team at Kokomo Family Dentistry ensures that the process of getting a dental filling is comfortable and efficient:

1. Initial Examination: Our dentists carry out a thorough examination using advanced tools to ascertain the extent of the decay.

2. Local Anesthesia: We administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the decayed tooth, ensuring you're comfortable throughout the procedure.

3. Decay Removal: Using precise instruments, the decayed part of the tooth is removed carefully.

4. Tooth Preparation: After removing the decay, the tooth is cleaned and prepared for the filling. This may involve etching the tooth with conditioner before applying a bonding agent that helps the filling material adhere to the tooth.

5. Applying the Filling: The dentist will then apply the filling material in layers, hardening each layer as it is applied using a special light.

6. Polishing: Once the filling has been placed and hardened, any excess material is trimmed off, and the final restoration is polished.

At Kokomo Family Dentistry, we emphasize the importance of regular dental check-ups to catch cavities early and treat them effectively with dental fillings. We are committed to helping our patients maintain their oral health and beautiful smiles.

Dental fillings come in various types, each offering different benefits and drawbacks. The choice of filling often depends on the extent of the decay, the cost, and moisture control when filling. The most common types include amalgam, composite, and glass ionomer fillings. Let's take a closer look at these.

Overview of Amalgam, Composite, and Glass Ionomer Fillings

Understanding the different types of dental filling materials can help you make an informed decision about your dental treatment. Each of these filling materials have their own set of advantages and considerations:

1. Amalgam Fillings: Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used for over 150 years in dentistry. They are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are known for their durability and are typically used to fill cavities in the back teeth.

Pros:  cost-effective, ease of use, durability
Cons:  esthetics, removal of more tooth structure, no bonding ability to the tooth, metal expansion and contraction with temperature changes can lead to fractured teeth

2. Composite Fillings: Composite fillings are made from a resin composed of plastic and fine glass particles. They are tooth-colored and can be easily matched to the existing color of your teeth, making them a more aesthetically pleasing choice. Composite fillings are ideal for visible parts of the teeth.

Pros:  esthetics, removal of less tooth structure, bonding ability to tooth
Cons:  more technique sensitive and more steps for placement, requires moisture control, may stain over time

3. Glass Ionomer Fillings: Glass ionomer fillings are made from a combination of acrylic and a specific type of glass material. These fillings are tooth-colored and have the unique property of releasing fluoride, which can help prevent further tooth decay. They are often used for small cavities, cavities below the gum line, and for fillings in young children, as they are more moisture friendly.

Pros: esthetics, moisture friendly, bonding ability to tooth, fluoride release
Cons:  durability, increased wear when used on chewing surfaces

At Kokomo Family Dentistry, our dedication to your dental well-being drives our strategic preference for composite and glass ionomer restorations. These innovative materials are preferred over traditional amalgam fillings for several compelling reasons.

Mitigating the Risk of Tooth Fractures: One significant factor in our choice of the exclusive use of composite and glass ionomer materials is the propensity for amalgam fillings to cause tooth fractures.  Tooth fractures can be a concerning consequence associated with these traditional metal fillings. Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes due to the variance of hot and cold food we eat on a regular basis.  This causes weakening of the surrounding tooth structure over time and eventual fracture.  Sometimes the fracture of the tooth is catastrophic and requires tooth removal.

Enhanced Structural Integrity with Composite and Glass Ionomer: Composite and glass ionomer materials possess remarkable bonding properties. When we use these materials for restorations, they create strong and enduring bonds with your natural tooth structure. These bonds actively contribute to the structural integrity of your teeth.  How this benefits the patient is in more conservative removal of tooth structure.  The structural integrity of your teeth is paramount to us at Kokomo Family Dentistry, and we chose conservation of tooth structure whenever possible.

Esthetics: It goes without saying that the esthetic improvement of tooth colored restorative materials plays a significant role in the decision to use these products over silver fillings.  Composite and glass ionomer can mimic the natural tooth in translucency, shade, and sheen allowing for an uncontested esthetic advantage.

By exclusively offering composite and glass ionomer restorations, Kokomo Family Dentistry not only prioritizes your oral health but also actively works to minimize potential disadvantages associated with traditional amalgam fillings. Our aim is to provide you with dental solutions that are both safe and advantageous for the long-term well-being of your teeth and overall health.

The choice of dental filling material can have a significant impact on not just the appearance of your smile, but also on your overall dental health. Composite and glass ionomer fillings, as preferred by Kokomo Family Dentistry, offer a multitude of benefits over traditional amalgam fillings. They are aesthetically pleasing, preserve more of the natural tooth structure, and contribute to better dental health by preventing further decay and tooth fractures.

At Kokomo Family Dentistry, we prioritize your dental health and strive to provide the best possible care. We are dedicated to using materials that promote long-term oral health while ensuring your comfort and satisfaction. Whether you need a routine check-up or a dental filling, you can trust us to provide top-notch care with our choice of dental filling material.

Don't wait until a small problem becomes a big one. Contact Kokomo Family Dentistry today and let us help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.

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(765) 864-2325

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Mon-Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm

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Address :

604 East Boulevard, Suite A, Kokomo, IN 46902

(765) 864-2325

604 East Boulevard, Suite A, Kokomo, IN 46902

Mon-Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm

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