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Everything you need to know about Fillings at our Office

The most common restorative service offered at any Dental Office is having your cavities filled. To treat a cavity, your Dentist will remove the decayed portion of your teeth and then "Fill" the area on the tooth where the decay has been removed. There are several different types of materials used to fill this area. Our office commonly uses two types of materials:  Amalgam & Composite. Other types such as porcelain, ceramic, and glass ionemer are also available upon request.

Amalgam Restorations
(Also Know as Silver Fillings)

For Fillings Page Only

Advantages of Amalgam Fillings:

1.  Durability - Last 10-15 years
2.  Strength - Withstands stronger bites
3.  Cost - Less expensive than alternatives

Disadvantages of Amalgam Fillings:

1.  Poor Esthetics - Does not match tooth color
2.  Destruction of more tooth structure to prep
3.  Discoloration - Amalgam fillings can turn the surrounding tooth grey
4.  Cracks and Fractures - Material can expand and contract with hot and cold causing breakage
5.  Allergic Reactions - 1% of people are allergic to the mercury needed for Amalgam

Composite Restorations
(Also Know as Tooth Colored Fillings)

Composite Filling

Advantages of Composite Fillings:

1.  Aesthetics - Shade will match perfectly with teeth
2.  Support - Chemical bond with tooth structure for better support
3.  Versatility - can be used to repair chipped and broken teeth
4.  Less tooth structure removed in preparation of filling

Disadvantages of Composite Fillings:

1.  Less durable than Amalgam
2.  Longer chair time - can take up to 20 minutes longer to apply
3.  Chipping - depending on location, composite fillings may chip off the tooth due to wear
4. Cost - Composite fillings are slightly more expensive than Amalgams


What to expect during the procedure

Many patients have a fear of the dentist because they instantly assume “pain” when thinking about dentistry. In reality, the assumed pain is more mental than physical.

Prior to getting a filling done, our staff will numb the general area with a topical anesthetic. This is done to slightly numb the area prior to receiving local anesthesia. Depending on the patient and the size of the filling, the Dentist will choose one of several local anesthetics to use. The Doctor will then administer 1 or more shots to the gum around the area where the filling will be done. Typically the patient will feel a slight pinch in the area when getting the first shot, and if more shots are required, they are seldom felt as the area becomes numb quite quickly. Once the Dentist has verified that the patient is adequately numb, they will begin to remove the decay. At this point the patient should not feel any pain, but if for some reason they do, they should let the team know immediately and more anesthetic will be administered.

After the procedure is complete the patient will still be numb for some time – so we advise patients not to eat until the numbness wears off as they may inadvertently bite their tongue or their lip by accident. Patients may feel a slight pain in the general area where the shot was given once the anesthetics wears off. This is completely normal and will go away within a few hours. Typically, pain medication is not required, but if for any reason the patient remains in pain hours after the procedure, we advise for you to contact the office as soon as possible to speak with your Dentist.