A filling is used to repair teeth with decay, holes, cracks, or fractures. There are two kinds of material that can be used to fill a tooth: composite (tooth-colored) or amalgam (silver-colored). As with most dental restorations, fillings are not considered to be permanent and may have to be replaced over time due to normal wear; however, they are also very durable and will last many years.
What do fillings do?
Fix chipped or broken teeth
Fill holes in teeth
Enhance the appearance of cracked teeth
Restore decayed or worn teeth
What can I expect?
Fillings are usually completed in one appointment. You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the areas adjacent to your tooth or teeth. We generally recommend that you limit the fillings you are having done to one side of your mouth at a time so that you can eat on the opposite side while you wait for the anesthetic to wear off. While the area is numb, we will first remove any decayed tooth structure, then thoroughly clean the remaining tooth. If any of the decayed areas were close to the nerve of a tooth, a special antiseptic medication will be applied for additional protection. The filling material will then be carefully placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original state.
It is normal to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold when fillings are first placed, however, this should subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the change. If any sensitivity persists, you may need to have your occlusion (the way your teeth hit together when you bite) adjusted slightly. You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, healthy eating habits, and regular dental visits will extend the life of your new fillings.