Dental Fillings

To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).

Dr. Francisco will examine the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Deep decay and cracks recently recovered may have on off sensitivity for weeks to months. If the sensitivity worsens, we will possibly refer you to an Endodontist for a further evaluation.

Several additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings and are as follows. After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers. Next, a special light that “cures” or hardens each layer is applied. When the multilayering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration

To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Key aspects to know before

A composite filling usually requires only one visit. An advantage of composite filling is that less of the healthy part of the tooth must be removed to hold a composite filling in place. This is due to the ability to adhesively bond composite material to the tooth. Composite are preferable of obvious cosmetic reasons. 

Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings except they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Indirect fillings are considered when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.

  • Temporary fillings are used under the following circumstances:
    1. For fillings that require more than one appointment — for example, before placement of gold fillings and for certain filling procedures (called indirect fillings) that use composite materials
    2. Following a root canal
    3. To allow a tooth’s nerve to “settle down” if the pulp became irritated
    4. If emergency dental treatment is needed (such as to address a toothache)

    Temporary fillings are just that; they are not meant to last. They usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within a month. Be sure to contact your dentist to have a temporary filling replaced with a permanent one. If you don’t, the tooth could become infected or you could have other complications.