A composite restoration (commonly known as a filling) is a tooth colored restoration that is intended to repair areas of tooth decay or to “patch” small tooth fractures. The appointment for a filling is generally under 30 minutes and is completed with local anesthetic to numb the tooth.
Are there alternative options to white fillings?
Yes, you can opt to receive amalgam restorations (silver fillings). This is a technology that has been around for a very long time. However, advances in restorative materials such as composite allow us to actually bond your filling to your tooth. This allows us to be very conservative in the amount of drilling that is necessary. Amalgam restorations require a standard minimal depth of drilling regardless of the size of the cavity.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Do I need to be numbed for a filling?
In most cases you do. The only time you wouldn’t need to be numbed would be for minor bonding to repair a small tooth fracture. Anesthetic is necessary in any case where we need to drill into the tooth to remove a cavity.
Can I eat after having a filling placed? How about drinking?
We recommend waiting until the anesthetic wears off before you eat anything. Eating while numb can lead to biting your tongue and check. This can result in a lot of soreness and swelling. It’s best to wait until the anesthetic begins to wear off before you eat something. You can drink normally after a filling is plaecd as long as you’re avoiding anything that’s too hot.
Will my tooth be sore after a filling?
It’s not abnormal to have sensitivity after a filling is placed, especially if it is a deeper cavity. However, our doctors use a desensitizing gel on the tooth prior to placing this filling. This results in limited to no post-operative sensitivity in most cases.
How long do fillings typically last?
The longevity of fillings really depends on how well you take care of them. Fillings can last as many as 20 years if you practice good home care. However, patients who clench and grind their teeth will need their fillings replaced more frequently.