A dental filling is one of the most widely used dental restorations, serving both restorative and cosmetic purposes and helping patients maintain long term dental health.
Dental fillings are commonly used to repair minor teeth imperfections such as small tooth cavities or cracks. Most often recommended to patients who have experienced only minimal amounts of tooth decay, composite dental fillings can be made to mimic the texture and color of your natural teeth, and provide patients with years of natural function and durability. As a standard dental procedure that can usually be completed in one visit, fillings are a great way to restore health and strength to your natural teeth.
Resin tooth Fillings
Traditional dental fillings were typically comprised of silver or amalgam materials. But today’s dental fillings are made from resin based, metal free composites that blend seamlessly with the natural color of your teeth – giving your smile a more naturally balanced, healthy look.
A cavity filling is completed during a single visit to our Annapolis dentist office. Dr. Sheen will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and make you comfortable prior to the procedure. Then he will carefully remove the decayed portion of the tooth and thoroughly clean the area. He then inserts the composite filling, sculpts it to mimic the shape of the natural tooth, and then firmly bonds it into place with a special light – resulting in a dental restoration you can be proud of.
With proper care, your tooth colored dental filling will last a long time. It is important to note that any type of tooth filling is not permanent, even resin fillings. White fillings typically last around five to seven years. You can extend the lifespan of your filling by practicing good oral hygiene and taking good care of your teeth and gums.
Replacing Amalgam (Metal) Fillings
We see many patients every day who still have old amalgam fillings that have been there for years. These types of fillings are effective at replacing the decayed or damaged part of the tooth, but they do not add any extra support for the tooth. Amalgam fillings have mercury in them and this what makes them soft and pliable so that they can be formed into the tooth. Dr. Sheen can replace old, dark, or leaking amalgam fillings with a new white filling for improved dental health and an immediate smile makeover. Some people may want them replaced due to the mercury and others just want a whiter smile without the metal. If the filling is worn, cracked, or broken, then Dr. Sheen will replace it with a white filling. If the amalgam filling is in tact then he will have to do an evaluation to make sure removing it will not effect the long term health of the tooth before he will consider replacing it.
Dental Fillings FAQs
How Long Will My Filling Last?
Contrary to popular belief, fillings will not last forever. A filling usually lasts anywhere from 3-7 years on average but may need regular annual examinations to see that they are holding up well. If you see any discoloration, darkening, or chipping under the filling, schedule to see your dentist immediately. These signs show a breakdown and indicate the need for immediate replacement of the filling.
What Should I Expect After A Filling?
You should be able to eat on your filled tooth immediately after the procedure. At that point, your tooth is as good as new and you will usually be unable to see where the filing was placed. You may still have some mild to moderate sensitivity in your tooth but this should pass within 48 hours. It may take some time and wear to adjust to the filling if it is slightly over or under the level of your bite.
Will a dental filling make my tooth sensitive?
After getting a dental filling, you might experience temporary tooth sensitivity. However, having tooth sensitivity after a filling is natural and will go away in a couple of days. If tooth sensitivity does not go away in a week or two, then contact Dr. Sheen for further advice. It may mean that your filling was not properly placed.
Schedule A Dental Exam Today
Dental fillings are durable, attractive solutions that protect teeth from future decay. Many patients have benefited from this simple, preventative dental procedure – saving themselves and their teeth from additional restorative dental work. If you have cavities or small imperfections that need to be fixed, contact the office of Dr. Sheen today at (443) 482- 5202 or request a consultation online.