A filling is a treatment for a tooth when it is damaged by a small or medium sized cavity. Over time, when bacteria grows in the mouth, they can start to eat away the tooth, which causes cavitations or small holes on the surfaces of the tooth. Cavities are usually discolored, can be sensitive to temperature, and are usually confirmed during an exam with the doctor. The doctor will ask for radiographs to confirm any cavity findings.

At a separate appointment, the doctor will remove the cavity, and replace it with a white filling to restore your tooth back to normal shape and function. When you get a filling, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area. Once you are numb, the doctor will remove the cavity and shape your tooth in preparation for the filling.

Sometimes, old fillings can get cavities around it too. In cases like this, the doctor will remove the cavity and the old filling and place a new filling all together. When the cavity is fully removed, the doctor will clean the tooth, and places the filling material.

The filling material is hardened by light, so they will use a special light during the procedure. Once the filling is complete, the doctor will check your bite with a special type of paper, and then polish your tooth.

There are different types of fillings that a doctor can perform. In our office, we do composite resins which look more natural because they are matched to the color of your teeth. Another popular filling material are amalgams, or silver fillings. Amalgam fillings are usually very dark and although they tend to last very long, over time they can cause small fractures around the teeth. Whether you need a filling now or in the future, you can feel confident about the process and what to expect from your appointment.

A common side effect from fillings is sensitivity after it has been placed. The vast majority of the times, this will subside on its own in the next days or weeks.