Ashu Sachdev
Cosmetic and General Dentistry

Creating Beautiful Lasting Smiles

Address: 511 Hempstead Ave, West Hempstead, NY 11552
516-485-9675

 

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Tooth Fillings (Restorations)

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

Why are Filling Needed?
A filling is needed to fill a cavity. Cracked or broken teeth, or teeth that are worn from unusual use — such as nail-biting, tooth grinding (bruxism), or using your teeth to open things — may also need fillings.
During our regular checkup and exam, we will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth.

Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. Your dentist may also X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay. Filling is the preferred choice of treatment if the cavity is still contained within the enamel and hasn’t reached the root yet.
What types of fillings are available?

No one type of filling is best for everyone. What's right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Considerations for different materials include:

  • Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

  • Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.

  • Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.

  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.

What is involved in a Tooth Filling?

The treatment usually involves 1-2 appointments. Based on exams and x-rays, if a decision is made that a cavity needs to be filled, the procedure involves removing the decay and cleaning the affected area. The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with any of the variety of materials described above.

Does the Tooth with Filling Require Special Care?

Many people experience some sensitivity after they receive a filling. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods or temperature. Composite fillings often cause sensitivity, but other types of filling material can, too. In most cases, the sensitivity will subside over one to two weeks. Until then, try to avoid anything that causes it. If your tooth is extremely sensitive or your sensitivity does not decrease over about a two-week period, you should contact your our office.


To help your fillings last, you should visit the dental office regularly for cleanings, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once a day. For people with many fillings or very large fillings, we may prescribe a fluoride gel you can use at home. The fluoride will help strengthen your teeth and prevent future cavities. Your dentist or hygienist can also place a fluoride varnish around the edges of these teeth at your checkup visits.


 

 

 

 

  • The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.