Dental Fillings in East Longmeadow, MA

In the United States, 90% of adults aged 20 and over have had at least one cavity. Dental fillings are the most common way to treat and protect a tooth with a cavity. 

At East Longmeadow Family Dental Center, Gregory Zirakian, DMD, offers composite dental fillings to prevent further tooth decay. 

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are materials that dentists use to repair and restore teeth, especially those that have cavities. A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth because of decay. Cavities occur when the acids in your mouth break down your tooth’s enamel (the hard outer layer), allowing bacteria to enter the tooth. Anyone can get a cavity, although following good oral hygiene habits and getting regular professional dental cleanings can help prevent them. 

Enamel decay does not usually cause any symptoms, but you can start experiencing some discomfort as the decay reaches the tooth’s dentin and pulp. The symptoms of a cavity can include:

  • Toothache
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot substances
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Facial swelling

Once you have a cavity, removing the infected pulp can prevent further damage, but that removal leaves a gap in your tooth. Specialized dental materials are used to fill that gap. 

Dental fillings can also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth, as well as teeth that have worn down because of misuse. At East Longmeadow Family Dental Center, Dr. Zirakian offers composite resin dental fillings, which are durable materials made of a polymer mixed with quartz or glass. 

Benefits of Composite Resin Dental Fillings

Composite resin fillings provide a natural, tooth-colored look designed to match the rest of the tooth. 

These fillings might not require as much drilling as other types of fillings. With amalgam fillings, for example, a large amount of your natural and healthy tooth has to be removed along with the decayed sections. Removing so much of the tooth can leave it weaker. 

Because composite dental fillings require the removal of only a small amount of healthy tooth material, you will have a stronger overall tooth. Composite resin dental fillings bond to your existing tooth, helping to prevent cracks from forming. They also harden in seconds. Dr. Zirakian will use a special light to set and harden the fillings, which takes very little time. 

Amalgam fillings can cause more tooth sensitivity issues than composite resin fillings. This is because the resin helps insulate the tooth against cold and hot temperatures. 

Composite dental fillings can also be repaired, which is not the case with some other types of dental fillings. Instead of having to get rid of the entire filling and reapply it if it cracks or otherwise gets damaged, Dr. Zirakian can repair the filling.

The Dental Fillings Procedure

If you have a cavity, scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Gregory Zirakian is the first step in getting the help you need. Dr. Zirakian will assess the cavity as well as your overall oral health in order to recommend the right treatment. Tell him about any medical conditions you have, the medications you take, and your normal oral hygiene routine. 

Before he works on the tooth, Dr. Zirakian will numb the area with a topical anesthetic. If you have dental anxieties, you can also request sedation. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Zirakian will remove the decayed part of the tooth, testing the area to ensure that he gets rid of all of the decay.

He will then clean the space created in your tooth, disinfecting it and removing the debris. If the decay has gotten close to the root, he may place a layer of composite resin at the base of it to protect the nerve. Dr. Zirakian will then place the tooth-colored composite resin one layer at a time, using the special light to dry it as he works. 

Once Dr. Zirakian places the filling, he will polish it and make sure it feels comfortable in your mouth. 

Caring for Dental Fillings

If you take care of your dental fillings, they will last a long time. As always, brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss at least once daily. 

To prevent further decay, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. And make sure to schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups. 

With composite fillings, you can eat normally, but avoid chewing ice or hard candies because they can put stress on the fillings. Just like your natural teeth, fillings can also discolor, so try to avoid food and drinks that stain, like soda and coffee. 

If you grind your teeth during your sleep, it is a good idea to get a mouth guard to avoid cracking the fillings or damaging your teeth. 

In some cases, you may have to get your fillings replaced. Normal wear and tear due to the constant pressure of chewing, grinding, or clenching can erode composite fillings. You will not usually be able to tell if the filling is wearing down, but Dr. Zirakian can spot it when you come for your checkups. 

If the seal between your tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles can get stuck, potentially leading to further decay. If you notice a gap or if you have any symptoms of a cavity, book an appointment with Dr. Zirakian to replace or repair the filling. 

Get Rid of Cavities

Cavities can cause discomfort and even put your overall health at risk. If you notice signs of a cavity, turn to East Longmeadow Family Dental Center for an evaluation and treatment. Dental fillings are quick procedures that prevent further decay while keeping your tooth intact. 

At our state-of-the-art office in East Longmeadow, MA, Dr. Gregory Zirakian offers the quality services you deserve. From dental fillings to dental implants, he provides compassionate care to each of his patients.

Why worry about tooth decay when you can get help? Contact East Longmeadow Family Dental Center to schedule your free consultation today.