NOTICE REGARDING COVID-19To do our part in supporting community health and in compliance with the Governor of Washington State's Proclamation, our office is suspending all non-essential dental care through May 18, 2020.
We are still available for emergency services Monday through Thursday. We are contacting each patient scheduled over the coming weeks to discuss their appointment and reschedule you to a future date.
Thank you for your understanding, and we wish everyone health during this stressful time.
If you have questions or are experiencing a dental emergency please call us at 509-525-9474 and we will respond in a timely manner.
We look forward to seeing all of our lovely patients in person again soon!
Sincerely, Dr. Patrick Sharkey, Dr. Patty Martin, and Dr. Kimberly Murdoch
Fillings are used to restore areas of your tooth affected by decay. Dentists use both amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth-colored) materials to "fill in" the surface of the tooth after all decay has been removed.
Reasons for Fillings
What Does a Filling Involve?First, our dentists will apply anesthetic to the tooth requiring the filling. She will then thoroughly remove the decay that is present and prepare the tooth for either the composite or amalgam (silver alloy) filling.
What are composite fillings?Composite fillings are tooth-colored to blend in with the remaining natural part of the tooth. The term composite refers to the actual filling material, which is a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium.
Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing, composite fillings are "bonded" or attached with adhesive directly to the tooth surface. This often allows for a more conservative repair than traditional fillings with their inability to bond to the tooth structure. Since traditional fillings do not bond to the tooth, amalgam is packed into the tooth, and may loosen over time. Amalgam fillings often require that more tooth structure be removed to create a space that will hold the filling in place.
Composite fillings require that the tooth be kept clean and dry during the entire filling process, and they are subject to stain and discoloration over time. The life expectancy of a white filling can depend greatly on where it is in your mouth and how heavily your teeth come together when you bite.
Composite filling material is also commonly used to repair front teeth that have chipped or worn. Where possible, aesthetic bonding of composite material to front teeth is generally much less expensive than veneers or crowns. However, bonding typically does not last as long as veneers or crowns.
If your tooth is sensitive for a week or more it is important to call our office at (509)-525-9474 so we can examine the tooth and determine if additional treatment is needed.