An overgrowth of bacteria and plaque can threaten a tooth's health, eventually causing a cavity. A cavity compromises the structure and functionality of a tooth, weakens it, and leaves it vulnerable to further damage. Dr. Rohinton J. Patel can remove the decayed portion from your tooth and restore it with a dental filling. Dr. Patel uses only tooth-colored fillings, which are tinted to blend seamlessly with your smile. To learn more about how dental fillings can restore your oral health, contact our Honolulu office today.
Video: Dental Fillings
Dr. Rohinton Patel and his team at Hawaii Pacific Dental Group exclusively use metal- and mercury-free tooth-colored dental fillings. They not only look more natural than metal options, but also allow us to use more minimally invasive methods. Patients can receive their fillings in a single, comfortable visit.
Placing a Dental Filling
Before a filling can be placed, Dr. Patel will first remove decayed tissue from your tooth and thoroughly clean it. Dr. Patel uses the advanced Waterlase MD™ system to remove decay. The Waterlase MD™ combines laser technology and water pressure, and offers exceptional precision compared to traditional electric drills. The minimally invasive technique ensures patient comfort, and treatment typically does not even require anesthesia.
Once Dr. Patel has thoroughly cleaned your tooth and removed all signs of damage, your filling will be placed. Our tooth-colored filling material is made of strong resin matched to your natural tooth. Resin fillings fit snugly and securely, and are hardened and bonded in place. In the past, dentists used silver amalgam material for dental fillings. Dr. Patel can remove these unsightly fillings and restore them with tooth-colored material.
In addition to traditional fillings, Dr. Patel can use our CEREC® in-office milling machine to create indirect fillings. Inlays and onlays, two types of indirect fillings, are milled from porcelain outside of your mouth according to precise digital impressions of your tooth. Dr. Patel can help you determine whether a traditional or indirect filling is right for you.
Tooth decay is caused by the buildup of plaque. Plaque is a thin film that naturally occurs in your mouth, and it contains millions of bacteria. When you eat starchy or sugary foods, these bacteria feed on carbohydrates in the food and produce acid. These acids, in turn, can eat away tooth enamel and cause decay. In addition to causing tooth decay, bacterial plaque can develop into tartar, which irritates gum tissue and leads to periodontal disease. Advanced decay and gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.
To lessen the need for fillings in the future, you can adopt simple preventive habits. Attending biannual dental appointments is an important part of maintaining your oral health. During these appointments, our team can thoroughly clean your teeth and reach areas that you may miss during at-home care. We can also catch the early stages of decay before major structural damage affects your teeth. Between dental visits, you can do a great deal to prevent decay by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. You can also limit your consumption of sugary foods to further reduce your risk for decay.