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Dental Filling

For tooth decay.

Woman smiling with dental filling

When you visit our office, your teeth will be examined for cavities and signs of decay. If your exam reveals enough decay it might be necessary to fill a cavity and have a dental filling.

Unlike years past when metal dental fillings did the job but served as noticeable reminders of your cavity, we are now utilizing newer materials and techniques. Metals such as gold and alloys used to be the best materials available but today that’s changed.

Newer dental fillings utilize ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. For cavities in the smile area in particular, many of our patients find this to be a much more desirable option.

Options: Bonding and Tooth Colored Fillings

Bonding involves the direct application of tooth-colored composite resin and is typically used to create a more attractive smile. Tooth colored fillings are an alternative to traditional metal fillings and fall into two categories: direct and indirect.

Direct restorations

Composite resin applied in one appointment.

Indirect restorations

(inlays or onlays), are made of porcelain or composite resin materials fabricated by a dental laboratory. These restorations usually take two appointments.


After a dental filling, some discomfort is normal. Dental work on a tooth is traumatic to the area and needs time to heal and settle down. The body’s response to a procedure is to send blood to the area to help with healing. With respect to teeth the body usually over responds. When you traumatize other areas of your body your tissue can swell, but a tooth is rigid and cannot swell. This can cause discomfort in the tooth that is felt as a dull ache, pain to biting or sensitivity to temperature or sweets. Initially this discomfort is expected and with the use of an anti-inflammatory drug like Ibuprofen or Naproxen the discomfort can be limited (Do not take them both). Usually, this pain will lessen over time. If the pain does not subside, testing can be done on the tooth to see if a root canal is necessary.

White restorations can sometimes have more sensitivity than a silver dental filling. The glue that is used is very good but can be a little traumatic to the tooth. Also, when white fillings are hardened with the UV light they shrink a little, this can cause some pressure sensitivity. With new products and procedures this sensitivity is much less, but can sometimes occur. Any sensitivity that occurs will most likely go away within a few weeks.  However, every tooth is different, what is most important is that the tooth progresses in the right direction. Some teeth are sensitive for a few days, others a few weeks and rarely a few months.

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