Hammond Dental Sandy Springs

Dental Fillings

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Best Dental FIllings Sandy Springs, GA

Hammond Dental is a General Dental practice that also offers specialist dental care. Some of the general dental procedures we offer include teeth cleanings, fillings, dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures. Our specialized procedures include but are not limited to, root canals, tooth extractions, clear smile aligners, and dental implants. Located in Sandy Springs, GA, we gladly give metro-Atlanta remarkable dental care and while utilizing the most modern dental technology and practices. Bring the whole family and receive quality dental care all under one roof!

We like to ensure that you’re the most educated about your teeth and procedures prior to settling on treatment options. You can find out about our dental strategies and how they are performed by reading about some of our services. Book your appointment and talk to one of our experienced dentists today.

Dental Fillings – What and Why?

Dental fillings are used to restore the health and structure of decayed and damaged teeth. Cavities in your teeth cause holes or voids in the tooth structure, which need to be filled. If left untreated, saliva, food particles and bacteria can enter the inner surfaces of the tooth causing further decay and damage to the tooth. If caught soon enough, a cavity can be fixed with a dental filling, rather than a much more invasive procedure like a dental crown or root canal. At Hammond Dental, we make use of tooth-colored fillings that are not only more aesthetically pleasing but also healthier and stronger than their metal counterparts. Tooth fillings are considered a general dental procedure and are commonly covered by insurance.

dental filling on tooth

When Are Fillings Necessary?

Fillings are used to treat cavities, which are important to address as soon as possible before the infection grows any worse. Often times there are common symptoms of cavities, like tooth pain or sensitivity, while other times patients report no symptoms at all. Patients often report feeling sensitivity with sweets or temperature. Cavities can also be found by discoloration in the area of decay or a feeling of roughness around the cavity. A filling is a necessary procedure when there is exposed decay in a tooth; the fillings serve to stop the current infection and prevent any further infection from spreading. If not properly filled by a dentist, a cavity can continue to worsen and have the potential to ultimately turn into a worse infection, requiring procedures such as a root canal or tooth extraction.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are two main varieties of dental fillings, tooth-colored or silver. The color difference is due to the different materials being used.

Tooth-colored fillings, also known as Composite Fillings, are made using a mixture of quartz or glass filler in a resin medium. They are specially designed to withstand moderate chewing pressure and are highly durable and resistant to fractures.

Silver fillings, also known as Amalgam Fillings, have several disadvantages. Since metal is sensitive to temperature changes in the mouth, these fillings can wear down, break or leak, making the teeth prone to cavities again. They can also cause discoloration on the gums and teeth when they leak. On the other hand, tooth-colored fillings are bonded directly to the teeth to give a natural-looking, superior, tight fit that adds to the strength of the tooth and keeps it intact.

Amalgam or Silver Fillings

Amalgam fillings are typically highly durable and resilient to wear. Generally, amalgam fillings are resistant to normal wear that teeth experience. This type of filling is most common for pediatric patients, who need cavities in their baby teeth filled. However, many patients do not like the noticeable silver color due to the color not matching their teeth. At Hammond Dental, we do not usually offer the amalgam fillings due to the material showing up obviously inside the patient’s mouth.

Composite Resin Fillings

Composite Resin fillings are the most common type of filling due to the fact that they are tooth-colored so no one will be able to see them. Each time this type of filling is applied, the resin is matched to the patient’s tooth color so that the filling cannot be seen. These filings are most commonly used for the front of teeth but are also used increasingly more on back teeth as well. The look of resin fillings are largely preferred over all other fillings because of their ability to blend in with your natural teeth.

Composite Resin Dental Filling
Gold Dental Fillings

Gold Fillings

Unlike the other two restorations, gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. These are commonly referred to inlays, due to the fact that the filling material is prepared to match the shape of the cavity. Gold inlays are tolerated by gum tissues and typically last many years. For these reasons, gold fillings are commonly considered the best restorative material, however, it is also often the most expensive choice and requires more than one visit to the office.

Porcelain Fillings

Similarly to the gold restorations, porcelain fillings are often called inlays or onlays due to the process of application on the tooth. As with gold restorations, porcelain is prepared in a lab and adhered to the tooth with cement. Unlike the gold, porcelain can be matched to the color of the patient’s tooth, like the resin fillings. Additionally, the cost of porcelain inlays and Onlays is close to the cost of the gold, but both options do typically last longer to the traditional resin and amalgam fillings.

Dental Fillings

What to Expect with a Filling

Dental fillings are typically begun by the Doctor by applying local anesthetic to the area so that the actual procedure cannot be felt. Next, the Doctor will remove any plaque buildup and tooth decay that may be present. Once this is complete, the resin is prepared to match the exact color of the patient’s tooth, and the filling is applied. Once applied, the Doctor will hold a light to the restoration to set it into place.

Overall, this procedure generally will take no more than 20 minutes after the Doctor completes the exam. The anesthesia may delay the process slightly, because the Doctor will want to make sure that the patient will not feel any pain or sensitivity during the procedure. The time for fillings also may vary slightly due to the location and size of the filling. For example, if the cavity is located on a flat surface versus a corner of the tooth, the restoration may require a little more time.

How Much Do Tooth Fillings Cost?

The pricing of dental fillings will vary due to many different factors. In general, the cost of a single dental filling will range from $142 – $297 at Hammond Dental. The number of surfaces the cavity covers and the location of the cavity will affect the price. For example, a tooth in the front with a cavity on one side will be cheaper than a cavity on a back tooth covering four surfaces. This price range does not reflect any coverage that patients may have with their dental insurance company.

For patients with insurance, their out of pocket cost will likely be different for a dental filling. Many insurance plans use a 100-80-50 format of coverage, which means preventative care is covered at 100%, basic procedures at 80%, and major procedures at 50%. However, benefits will vary depending on the patient’s specific plan, so patients should contact their insurance company for exact coverage. At Hammond Dental, we will submit dental insurance claims as a courtesy to our patients.

Procedure Price
Exam + X-rays $79
Anterior Filling $142 – $212
Posterior Filling
$ 170 – $297

How to Avoid Cavities

It is important for patients to understand how to best care for their teeth, and preventative care is one of the most effective ways of preventing any kind of dental decay. The best preventative care that patients can practice is attending regular cleaning visits and having their teeth examined by the Doctor as recommended. Patients should also brush their teeth at least twice a day or after every meal and floss once a day.

Occasionally, tooth decay like cavities still occurs even in patients who have perfect oral hygiene; it is important for patients to remember that it is okay if cavities occur, and they are very treatable. However, if this type of tooth decay does occur, it is very important for patients to seek treatment immediately so that the infection does not progress any further.

Untreated Cavities Lead to Problems in the Future

For example, cavities left untreated can potentially turn into a larger infection, requiring much more extensive treatment. When a cavity is not treated properly, the infection that is on the surface of the tooth progresses further inward on the tooth. Once this occurs, the infection ultimately reaches the interior roots of the tooth, and the tooth may not be able to be repaired. There is however treatment for when this occurs, but it will not be as easy as a simple cavity filling. The good news is, these extensive and expensive procedures can be avoided by patients attending regular cleanings and check-ups; this will help detect any problems early and treat them before a root canal or extraction is required.

Tooth Extraction of infected tooth

Teeth Extractions

The next step after root canal treatment would be a dental extraction. If the infection has progressed too much within the tooth to the point that it cannot be saved, the tooth will need to be extracted. Of course, our Doctors will do everything to avoid an extraction to help the patient maintain their best natural smile, however sometimes extractions are necessary. Typically, extractions are necessary once the infection has progressed past tooth decay, and has begun decaying bone structure below the gums and decaying the gums themselves. Extractions can be more expensive in the long run with replacement options, such as bridges, partial dentures, and implants.

Book Your Appointment Today!

Hammond Dental is an expert in providing general dental procedures and restorations for the entire family. Our team of expert dentists and technicians are here to inform you every step of the way. Feel safe knowing you’re making the best decision for you and your family’s teeth when you choose Hammond Dental. Give us a call or message us on Facebook to book an appointment.

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