A dental filling is one of the most common dental procedures in our dental practice. Most people will have a cavity at some point in their life and will need to have it treated. Tooth decay will only get worse until we fix it with a filling. The purpose of a filling is to restore a damaged or decayed tooth and prevent further damage.
Dr. Derek Conover offers tooth-colored fillings for the most natural-looking restoration. We use a range of materials, from resin to porcelain. Our dental care team can also replace old, dark fillings to improve both oral health and the appearance of your smile. 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.
About Dental Fillings
White fillings are the standard in cosmetic dentistry for esthetics and function. For smaller fillings, Dr. Conover uses tooth-colored dental composites 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 which 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.
Some patients may prefer to have a gold filling placed because of its extreme durability. Gold is not as natural-looking as a tooth-colored filling but is the strongest option for a tooth filling. Gold fillings will also require two visits to our Philadelphia dentist office.
The Dental Fillings Procedure at Our Office
Getting dental fillings can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. The duration 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 ensure the patient’s comfort during treatment. Once your mouth is numb, Dr. Doray will begin to clear the cavity of infection and debris with an electric handpiece. We use a gentle electric handpiece instead of dental drills for the patient’s comfort.
Next, using a special tool, Dr. Conover will deposit the filling material. Once the filling material is in the affected area, it is hardened 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 improve your 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.
Dental Filling FAQs
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 fully settle. 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 after a filling?
After a filling, it is perfectly safe to brush your teeth. It is important to be careful around the filling and use a soft bristle brush, but it is perfectly safe, and it is important to keep the area clean.