A dental filling is a popular dental restoration that serves both restorative and cosmetic purposes. They help patients maintain long-term dental health. Dentists use dental fillings to repair minor teeth imperfections such as small tooth cavities or cracks. Composite dental fillings are for patients who experience only minimal amounts of tooth decay.
A composite dental filling will mimic the texture and color of your natural teeth. Composite fillings also provide patients with years of natural function and durability. Fillings are a standard dental procedure your dentist can complete in one visit. They are a great way to restore health and strength to your natural teeth.
Dr. Vernon Sheen is a highly trained dentist in Annapolis, MD, who can provide you with white dental fillings in a single visit. Fillings are one of the most common dental services he offers. Dr. Sheen will recommend white fillings over metal fillings for his patients.
Resin Dental Fillings in Annapolis
Dentists typically make traditional dental fillings from silver or amalgam materials. But today, they are a resin-based, metal-free composite. This type of filling will blend in seamlessly with the natural color of your teeth. This will give your smile a natural, healthy look.
We can complete a cavity filling during a single visit to our Annapolis dentist office. Dr. Sheen will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and make you comfortable before the procedure. Then, he will carefully remove the decayed portion of the tooth and thoroughly clean the area.
He then inserts the tooth-colored composite and sculpts it to mimic the shape of the natural tooth. The composite will match the color of your treated tooth. Dr. Sheen uses a special light to firmly bond the filling material to ensure the dental restoration lasts.
With proper care, your tooth-colored dental filling will last a long time. 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. Brushing and flossing filled teeth and visiting the dentist regularly will ensure fillings last.
Replacing Amalgam (Metal) Fillings
We see many patients daily who still have old amalgam fillings that have been there for years. These fillings effectively replace the decayed or damaged part of the tooth. However, they do not add any extra support for the tooth.
Amalgam fillings have mercury in them, and this is what makes them soft and pliable. Your dentist can quickly form this material into a tooth. Despite the advantages of this material, there are several disadvantages to metal fillings. Metal fillings:
- Can discolor natural teeth
- Do not match natural tooth colors
- Increase sensitivity to hot and cold
- May weaken natural teeth
Dr. Sheen can replace old, dark, or leaking amalgam fillings with a new white filling. White fillings can improve your oral health and provide an immediate smile makeover. Some people may want their fillings replaced due to the mercury in the metal. Other patients wish to have a whiter smile without the metal.
If you have a worn, cracked, or broken metal filling, Dr. Sheen will replace it with a white filling. He will evaluate the metal filling if it’s intact. Dr. Sheen will make sure removing the filling will not affect the long-term health of the tooth before he considers replacement. Sometimes, metal fillings are stable and will not require replacement. Other time, old fillings pose a risk to patients.
Dental Fillings FAQs
Read answers to these commonly asked questions to learn more about dental fillings:
How long will my filling last?
Contrary to popular belief, fillings will not last forever. A dental 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 filling replacement.
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 be unable to see it. You may still have some mild to moderate sensitivity in your tooth. However, 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.
How do I care for a newly filled tooth?
It will take some time for your local anesthetic to wear off. Once the anesthetic wears off, you can begin to eat. When eating, do not directly chew on your filled tooth. Additionally, do not use a straw or drink with a sucking motion because you can dislodge your filling.
You can brush and floss 24 hours after you receive your filling. Brushing and flossing will prevent future tooth damage or infection. We also recommend avoiding smoking, vaping, or using other tobacco products. Tobacco can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
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 disappear in a week or two, contact Dr. Sheen for further advice. It may mean your filling was incorrectly placed or infection entered the tooth.
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. Fillings can save teeth from additional restorative dental work.
If you have cavities or minor imperfections that need treatment, contact the office of Dr. Sheen today at (443) 482-5202. You can also request a consultation online. Let Dr. Sheen know if you have questions about dental fillings. He will be glad to help you.