Learn More About Dental Fillings:

When teeth have become decayed but are still able to be saved, Dr. Vargas may suggest that you undergo a filling procedure. This dental restoration procedure is a tried and true method of addressing cavities to stop the advance of decay and restore the structure and function of your tooth. Fillings are available in a variety of materials, but amalgam and composite fillings are the most commonly used. Amalgam is a silvery alloy of multiple metals, while composite fillings are created using a composite resin.

What To Know About Dental Fillings:

As a common treatment for the most common dental complaint, cavities, dental fillings are among the most frequently used restoration treatment. Over 30% of all Americans are found to be in need of restorative dentistry at some point in their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is A Dental Filling Appropriate For My Needs?

If tooth decay has left you with a cavity ranging in size from medium to small, a filling may be appropriate. The following symptoms may indicate a cavity:

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Visible pitting, holes, or darkness in the surface of the tooth
  • Intermittent pain that worsens with temperature or pressure

Currently, there is no available way to restore dental enamel that has experienced dental decay, so a filling is the only way to repair the damage and halt the advance of spreading. While there are limits to what a filling can repair, the majority of small and medium cavities are able to be corrected with this treatment. Dr. Ulysses Vargas will inform you during your exam if they’re appropriate for your needs.

Which Type Of Filling Is Appropriate For Me?

The two materials mentioned above that are used for creating fillings each have their own pros and cons. The properties of the two materials include:


An alloy created from copper, mercury, tin, and silver, amalgam has been in use since the beginning of modern dentistry. While extremely durable and affordable, they are also very easily spotted due to their silvery color. Amalgam fillings will last approximately 10-15 years.

Composite Resin

Plastic and ceramic combine in composite fillings to give a much more natural appearance than that provided by amalgam. While aesthetically superior, they are not as durable as amalgam and tend to last only 5-7 years with proper care.

What Happens During A Filling Procedure At South Hill Comprehensive Dentistry?

During your procedure, Dr. Vargas will begin by using anesthetics to numb your mouth. This will be followed by the removal of any dental tissue that has become decayed, and the resulting space is cleaned and sterilized. Once this step is complete, the amalgam or composite will be put in place. Composite materials require careful curing, or hardening, of the material layer by layer to ensure proper results, while amalgam fillings require more preparation of the tooth.

Learn more regarding dental fillings by reaching out to South Hill Comprehensive Dentistry in Spokane, WA today. We’ll set up your visit and help you prepare prior to your appointment. During your visit, you’ll undergo a full exam with dental imaging, followed by a dental consultation with Dr. Vargas. We look forward to seeing you!

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