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Dental Fillings
Dental Implants Houston, TX

Image of a dental filling, at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS. Dental fillings are the foundation of modern dentistry, serving functional and aesthetic purposes. As a vital aspect of cosmetic dentistry, Alexandra Garcia, DDS, recommends dental fillings to restore the structural integrity of decayed or damaged teeth and enhance their appearance. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 91 percent of adults between 20 and 60 years have had dental caries in their permanent teeth, requiring dental fillings to address these issues. You are likely among the many who seek relief from the discomfort of cavities. In that case, the experts at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS can assess the severity of your cavities to determine if dental restoration is a viable option.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are restorative materials dentists use to repair damaged teeth due to decay, wear, or trauma. Your dentist may assess the structural integrity of the affected tooth to determine the severity and the most effective treatment to prevent further decay and preserve its function. Common materials used for dental fillings include amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and gold.

Types of Dental Fillings

Advancements in dental materials have led to the discovery of various types of fillings, each featuring unique properties and applications. If you are considering this approach, Alexandra Garcia, DDS, can help you understand the different types of dental fillings to make informed decisions regarding your oral health. Here are the most common types of dental fillings we offer:

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings have been used in cosmetic dentistry for over a century and remain popular for posterior teeth restoration. The materials used to make the mixture include mercury, silver, tin, and copper, enhancing durability and longevity. Once you undergo the procedure, you can resume normal oral functions as they are resistant to wear and can withstand the forces of chewing. Although there are concerns about mercury, many studies show the safety and effectiveness of amalgam fillings when applied by a dental professional. The main downside to amalgam fillings is their metallic appearance, which makes them conspicuous in visible parts of the mouth.

Composite Resin Fillings

Composite resin fillings have become increasingly popular because of their ability to blend seamlessly with natural tooth color, which provides a more aesthetically pleasing option. Unlike amalgam, these fillings are made from plastic and fine glass particles, allowing dental specialists to match them to the shade of surrounding teeth precisely. If you experience trauma or develop cavities in easy-to-see areas, composite resin fillings are an ideal option. Besides enhancing cosmetic appeal, composite fillings bond directly to the tooth structure, minimizing the removal of healthy tooth material compared to amalgam fillings. What resin fillings lack in high-stress areas, they compensate excellently and are suitable for small to moderate-sized cavities.

Porcelain Fillings (Inlays and Onlays)

Porcelain fillings, or inlays and onlays, are personalized restorations made in a dental laboratory. These fillings are crafted from dental-grade porcelain material that mimics the natural appearance and strength of enamel. Dentists use inlays to fill cavities within the tooth cusps and onlays to cover one or more cusps to provide additional support and protection. Compared to the latter, porcelain fillings offer superior aesthetic appeal and longevity, making them an excellent choice for anterior and posterior teeth. While porcelain fillings require multiple dental visits and are more expensive than other options, they offer unmatched beauty and functional benefits.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings, or gold inlays or onlays, have been used in cosmetic dentistry for centuries and are valued for their durability and biocompatibility. This restorative material is a cast gold alloy with exceptional strength and longevity. Gold fillings are suitable for posterior teeth subject to heavy chewing forces. Gold fillings require minimal preparation of the affected tooth and surrounding areas, offering a precise fit and minimizing the risk of recurrent decay. While their metallic appearance may not be desirable for some people, gold fillings are an excellent choice for long-term durability and reliability.

Glass Ionomer Filling

Glass ionomer fillings are a unique type of dental filling that offers distinct advantages in certain situations. These fillings are made from a blend of glass powder and acrylic acid, which chemically bond to the tooth structure. While this restorative treatment is not as durable as amalgam or composite resin fillings, glass ionomer fillings are often used in non-load-bearing areas, such as small cavities on the root surfaces of teeth or in pediatric dentistry. In addition, they release fluoride, which helps to prevent further decay and strengthen the surrounding tooth enamel.

We use a unique approach for various complications, especially for patients with a high risk of recurrent decay. Glass ionomer fillings provide an additional protective barrier against bacterial infiltration and have a translucent appearance that closely resembles natural tooth enamel. These traits make them suitable for visible areas of the mouth. This option is ideal if you want a conservative and biocompatible option for dental restoration, especially where aesthetics is a priority.

Dental Filling Procedure

During the dental filling procedure, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the affected tooth. This ensures you are comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure. The next step is removing the decayed or damaged tooth structure using specialized instruments, such as a dental drill or laser. The removal of compromised tooth structure should be performed by a dental professional, as well as the selection of the filling material. Alexandra Garcia, DDS, considers vital factors before selecting dental fillings, including location, size of the cavity, and your preference.

Once the dentist chooses the filling material, it is placed in layers and shaped to match the natural contours of the tooth. Special curing lights may harden certain fillings, such as composite resin, to ensure a strong and durable restoration. The final step is polishing the filling to smooth rough edges and provide a natural-looking finish. Our Smile Gallery is a testament to many happy outcomes.

Dental fillings are crucial in restoring the function and appearance of teeth affected by decay or damage. With advancements in dental materials and techniques, Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS offers patients a variety of options to choose from, including amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and gold fillings. Contact us today at (346) 250-2930 to schedule dental services with Alexandra Garcia, DDS, to understand the characteristics and benefits of each type of filling.

Dental Filling

3D rendering of three teeth each with a different dental filling material: composite, amalgam, and goldTooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by the acid-producing bacteria found in plaque. These acids eat away at the enamel (the outer-most layer of a tooth), leading to the formation of cavities. At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, we always try to treat a cavity before it progresses into a more serious complication. If we diagnose you with a cavity during your routine checkup, we will likely treat the tooth with a dental filling. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked, broken, or worn down teeth, specifically with the use of composite resin.

Filling Materials

There are several types of filling materials, some of which include:

Composite resin

Composite resin is a soft mixture of glass or quartz filler that is color matched to the existing shade of your enamel. For this reason, composite fillings are ideal for cavities that are visible when you smile. The material also provides good durability and can be used for anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth. Due to its aesthetic and functional value, composite is the most popular choice for dental fillings.

Amalgam fillings

Amalgam, or silver fillings, have been used in dentistry for over 150 years. Because they are made from metal, amalgam fillings are extremely resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. We may recommend amalgam for a large cavity in a posterior tooth due to its durability. However, amalgam fillings have fallen out of favor due to their indiscrete color.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are fabricated in a laboratory and then later cemented into place. Also known as inlays, gold fillings have unmatched durability, lasting well over 20 years. Inlays can also be made from porcelain, which is better for cosmetic reasons.

Composite Filling Procedure

We begin the composite filling procedure by using a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, Dr. Garcia will remove any decayed tooth material and clean out the cavity with a special solution. The surface of the cavity will then be etched and conditioned to create a stronger bond between the composite and the enamel.

Once the tooth is properly prepared, we mix the composite ingredients and place them directly into the cavity. We use a color shade to pick the color of composite that best matches your tooth. After the composite is in place, we use an ultraviolet curing light to harden the material and expedite the bonding process. We then trim any excess material and polish the composite until it matches the sheen of your enamel.

After You Receive a Dental Filling

Dental fillings are easy to care for and maintain. Be sure to follow good oral hygiene practices, and schedule checkups and cleanings at regular intervals. Brushing with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste can help protect the tooth from further decay. Flossing once a day can also drastically improve your oral health.

Sensitivity issues are normal during the first few days with your new filling. If this issue persists or worsens over time, be sure to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. We may need to repair or replace your filling.

Schedule an Appointment

If you would like to learn more about dental fillings, call (346) 250-2930, and schedule an appointment now!
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Office hours

Mon-Thur 8:00am-5:00pm
Fri 8:00am-1:00pm


777 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 625
Houston, TX 77056-3204


Office: (346) 250-2930


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Dental Fillings | Dental Implants Houston, TX | Alexandra Garcia, DDS
Alexandra Garcia, DDS provides dental fillings to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Call us today to schedule a dental filling in our Houston office today!
Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, 777 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 625, Houston, TX 77056 | (346) 250-2930 | | 7/18/2024 | Page Keywords: cosmetic dentistry Houston TX |

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