Dental fillings play an important role in dentistry, remaining one of the most common dental treatments today- and one that most people will receive at some point in their lives. Although the common recommendation for a tooth cavity, a dental filling can actually serve both restorative and cosmetic purposes for teeth that are decayed and/or damaged.
Dr. Brent Engelberg and Dr. Mullarkey use a range of quality materials for placing dental fillings, depending on the size and location of the affected tooth and the cosmetic goals of the patient. In most cases, they will recommend a composite resin, or white, filling for an aesthetically pleasing result that will provide both durability and protection from future decay.
Types of Dental Fillings
Amalgam, or silver fillings: the traditional material used for dental fillings, amalgam remains widely used today for its durability and reasonable cost.
Gold fillings: a costly dental filling alternative, gold is an option for larger back teeth with varied biting surfaces because of its strength and lasting durability.
Composite resin: also called a white filling, composite resin is also a durable material that can be color matched for a natural looking result, especially recommended for teeth that are visible when smiling.
Porcelain fillings: also known as an inlay or onlay, porcelain fillings provide superior strength and stain resistance as well as an aesthetically pleasing result.
Tooth decay is a common oral health issue. In fact, nearly all of us will develop a cavity at some point. However, this is also a very preventable oral health issue. With the right steps you can take preventive action and potentially avoid the onset of a cavity completely. There are a number of different ways to avoid tooth decay, from proper brushing and flossing to routine dental cleanings.
Tips for Avoiding Tooth Decay
Brush every day: When you brush your teeth correctly you remove plaque from the surface, which reduces the risk of tooth decay. You should brush for two minutes each session, once in the morning and again before going to bed. Be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and the ADA seal-of-approval on the packaging.
Floss correctly: Flossing removes food caught between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. This prevents bacteria from breaking down the bits of food, which would increase oral acidity and plaque buildup. Flossing not only decreases the risk of cavities, but periodontal disease as well.
Cut back on sugary foods and drinks: Foods and drinks with high amounts of sugar and/or a high acidic content can be dangerous for your smile. Instead, drink more water and try healthier snack options, such as nuts, fresh fruit, vegetables, or low fat yogurts.
Don’t ignore discomfort: If you notice a persistent toothache or tooth sensitivity, don’t ignore the issue. Instead, see your dentist for a diagnosis. These are common warning signs of a cavity and ignoring them can increase the risk of infection.
See your dentist regularly: You should see your dentist about once every six months. The doctor can identify the earliest warning signs of decay and treat the issue before it progresses and harms your oral health.
"I have ONLY gone to this dentist my entire life (before Engelberg was Uhler). Dr. Engelberg is a great dentist and even better guy! I will be a patient for life because not only are the dentist great, but my dental hygenist Pam is THE best!
See ya in FEB!"Matt G.
"I have been going to Dr. Engelberg since Dr. Uhler retired. I have only had positive experiences with him and have found his work and care to be of highest quality. My questions are always answered and I feel very safe and comfortable during all my visits. I find him to be very up to date with the latest in dentistry and knowledgable regarding new techniques and devices that would help my teeth. He is easy to talk to and I enjoy speaking with him."Roberta Z.
"Everyone is super friendly and the chairs even have massages in them! Truly a one of a kind dentist office, always have a very nice experience."Erica S.
As a busy home inspector it is sometimes difficult to find the time to maintain my oral hygiene. The flexible hours and electronic follow-up your office provides makes it much easier for me to schedule and keep appointments without having to worry about losing an inspection.
After a recent visit, I received an e-mail notice the other day to complete a survey regarding my experience. Instead of filling out the survey, I thought it would be more beneficial to let you know that my visit on December 11 was quite pleasant. Laura did a great job of making me feel relaxed as she turned on the chair back massager. My blood pressure is usually 150/90 when I walk into your office, this time it was 124/70. She took extra time to update my x-rays and then started to work cleaning my teeth. She kept me advised or her progress, was very gentle and before I knew it, she was finished. She even complimented me on the positive results of my flossing. What a way to start the day.
You have a great staff doc and your chairside manner isn’t too shabby either. The professionalism you demonstrate clearly filters down to your staff; it makes it easy for me to send them your way when someone needs your expertise."Thomas M.
"Drs. Engelberg and Mularkey are a fantastic duo. As a fellow dental professional I have the pleasure of working with them and seeing their fine dentistry. I can honestly say that they are of the highest caliber dentists and genuinely care about their patients. You can feel confident in choosing their practice."Emily S.
"I was in for my 6 month cleaning with Laura. I am always appreciative of her professionalism and thoroughness. When I leave, I know that everyone in the office has my best interests in mind. From Dr. Engelberg to the hygienists to the office staff, they all work diligently to make the dental experience an exceptional one. I would not hesitate to recommend this practice."Mark W.
"Dr. E is the absolute best! His professionalism and bedside manner makes me want to come to dentist! I've always been terrified! The entire office is spectacular- clean, comfortable, friendly! His assistants (especially Gosia) are so gentle, kind, funny and do an amazing job.whole family comes here and you should too!"Ellie S.
Dental Fillings What to Expect
Dr. Engelberg or Dr. Mullarkey will recommend the most suitable option(s) for your unique dental health needs and cosmetic concerns and place your dental filling in their Arlington Heights dentist office.
Dr. Brent Engelberg or Dr. Jennifer Mullarkey may recommend the use of an inlay or onlay for dental fillings being placed on the larger back teeth or to address tooth damage. This type of dental restoration, also known as an indirect restoration or partial crown, offers both durable and aesthetic results. Dsr. Engelberg and Mullarkey are experienced cosmetic and restorative dentists. They use high quality ceramic or porcelain materials for all dental restorations, including inlays and onlays.
Inlays & Onlays: What to Expect
The process will require two visits to our Arlington Heights dentist office.
Your restorative procedure will begin by preparing the tooth surface. This involves removing any decay and taking impressions to be used in the fabrication of your custom inlay or onlay. A temporary restoration may be placed until the final one is ready.
At the second visit, your final restoration will be placed and permanently secured for a comfortable fit. With proper dental care your inlay or onlay will last for many years.
Pain-Free Dental Fillings
Using the DentalVibe injection system and an anesthetic wand, Dr. Engelberg and his staff can ensure that you experience as little discomfort as possible during your dental filling procedure- even patients with an extreme fear of needles will find they hardly feel a thing with this technology.
The anesthetic wand provides more comfortable, accurate delivery of a local anesthetic for patients, with fewer side effects such as residual numbness in other parts of the mouth.
Dental fillings lifespan is dependent on the material they are made up out of and the oral health of the patient. They are most commonly made out of composite materials that match your teeth and enamel so that they match your teeth, which should be between 10-12 years. Some made of metal can last longer, but they have been becoming less popular overtime.
Dental fillings do not involve areas of the mouth that contain nerves, so you shouldn’t not feel any more than pressure in your mouth. There are numbing products that are typically applied so that patients feel no pain. You will be able to feel the pulling and movement of the tools and dentist throughout the procedure. Sometimes patients may feel some pain when the filling is deep and near the nerve, but that is not common and more numbing agents are used for more serious fillings.
The amount of time it takes to fill a cavity varies on the severity, size and spot that the cavity is in. Usually it takes around 15 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure. Cavities are commonly found in pairs or sets of three, so multiple cavities and procedures may be completed in one sitting. This can cause a longer appointment length than expected.
Before beginning any dental filling procedure, dentists typically numb the tooth and surrounding area to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Then he will drill a hole in your tooth to remove any decay and replace it with the filling.