A dental filling is one of the most common dental procedures we offer in our dental practice. Most people will eventually have a tooth cavity and need it treated. Tooth decay will only get worse until we fix it with a filling. The purpose of a dental filling is to restore a damaged or decayed tooth and prevent further damage. Dr. Derek Conover offers tooth-colored dental fillings in Philadelphia, PA, for the most natural-looking restoration.
We use a range of dental filling materials, from resin to porcelain. Our dental care team can also replace old, dark fillings to improve oral health and your smile’s appearance. The material we recommend for a dental filling will depend on the location of the tooth and the severity of the decay or damage. Dental fillings are a general dentistry service that supports your long-term dental health by stabilizing the health of your infected tooth.
Learning About Dental Fillings
White fillings are the standard in cosmetic dentistry for esthetics and function. Dr. Conover uses tooth-colored dental composites for smaller fillings to restore beauty and strength. We place the composite resin materials directly into the teeth using the latest techniques. However, this type of filling will not last as long as a metal filling. It will need replacement about every ten years.
In the case of larger fillings, Dr. Conover fabricates porcelain restorations or onlays that look and feel like natural teeth. Porcelain fillings will strengthen a weak or damaged tooth structure and prevent future damage to teeth. They will last longer than composite fillings but will also cost more.
Porcelain restorations will require two visits. This is because we send measurements to a dental lab for production. Like composite fillings, porcelain fillings blend in with the look of natural teeth.
Some patients may prefer a gold filling because of its extreme durability. Gold fillings are alloys that mix different metals for strength, meaning patients can bite and chew naturally. However, gold and other metal fillings conduct heat and cold, meaning you can experience heat sensitivity when eating or drinking cold foods and beverages.
Gold fillings may also be more noticeable than porcelain fillings, even if they cover the back teeth. While gold fillings are not as natural-looking as tooth-colored fillings, they are the most robust option for a tooth filling. Gold fillings will also require two visits to our Philadelphia dentist’s office.
The Dental Fillings Procedure in Philadelphia, PA
Receiving a dental filling can take between 20 minutes to an hour. The duration of treatment will depend on factors like how many fillings you need and the size of the cavities. Dr. Conover will begin by cleaning and preparing the affected tooth and removing old fillings if necessary.
Then, we may apply a local anesthetic to numb the treated area. Once your mouth is numb, Dr. Doray will begin to clear the cavity of infection and debris with an electric handpiece. For your comfort, we use a gentle electric handpiece instead of dental drills.
Next, Dr. Conover will deposit the filling material using a special tool. Once the filling material is in the affected area, he hardens the filling with a special UV light. Lastly, we will polish the filling and adjust it if necessary for a comfortable fit.
We can typically place resin tooth fillings during a single visit. On the other hand, custom-fabricated gold and porcelain fillings will require multiple visits.
Replacing Old Fillings
We can replace old, dark fillings with white fillings to enhance your smile and dental health. Over time, old fillings can degrade and leak, allowing additional decay and damage. Dr. Conover will examine your dental fillings and determine if they need replacement to keep the tooth healthy. Replacing old fillings
Dental Filling FAQs
Learn more about dental filling treatment with answers to these commonly asked patient questions:
What not to do after dental fillings?
After dental fillings, we recommend avoiding eating anything particularly sticky, chewy, or hard for at least 24 hours. This gives your filling time to settle fully. We also recommend avoiding hot or cold drinks as your filling may be sensitive to temperature.
How long does it take for tooth fillings to settle?
On average, it takes about 24 hours for fillings to harden and settle. While your filling is settling, we recommend avoiding chewing in that area of your mouth. However, modern dental fillings can withstand use almost immediately after the procedure.
Can you brush your teeth after a filling?
Twenty-four hours after you receive a dental filling, it is perfectly safe to brush your teeth. Be careful around the filling and use a soft bristle brush; keeping the area clean is essential.
When is it too late to get a filling?
You may need a dental extraction if you have a large cavity, extensive tooth wear, and extensive decay. We will examine your smile to determine whether you require a filling, crown, or extraction. Our team wants to preserve your natural tooth structure as much as possible; we will decide if fillings are viable.
How long does it take to heal after a filling?
After receiving dental fillings, healing can take two to three days. During this time, you need to be careful with your filling. You can brush around and on your filling very gently. You will also feel sensitivity after your anesthetic wears off. Taking over-the-counter pain medication will alleviate discomfort.
What happens if my dental filling comes out?
Contact an emergency dentist if you have an old filling that has come out. It’s best to see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent damage and decay to your tooth. At home before your appointment, keep the filling out of your mouth and do not try to put it back. You can gargle with salt water to keep your tooth clean and avoid chewing near the affected tooth. Your dentist will provide you with a new filling to protect your tooth.
Get Lasting Dental Fillings
Do you need to treat one or more cavities? Contact our office for dental fillings in Philadelphia, PA, at (215) 395-6076. Feel free to schedule a dental appointment with us on our website. We’re here to help you improve your oral health.