Cosmetic Fillings

What is a cosmetic filling?

A filling is the name of a dental procedure in which a material such as silver amalgam or a composite (white) filling is used to treat a decayed tooth. This material is inserted into the tooth where it then prevents the further spread of decay or repairs any damage.
This treatment stops the decay from spreading into the root where it will cause a serious infection, e.g. an abscess. This also removes the need for a tooth extraction.
The silver amalgam filling is the traditional type of filling which is composed of various metals such as copper, tin and mercury. This combination helps to retain the normal function of the tooth.
The composite white filling is a synthetic combination of acrylic resin and glass which has a white colour thereby enabling it to match the colour of the tooth. This is also chosen for aesthetic reasons as many people prefer to have fillings which match the rest of their teeth rather than the distinctive silver filling.

What are the reasons for composite fillings?

The main reasons are:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are my teeth just sensitive, or do I have a cavity?

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If the pleasure of eating a delicious bowl of ice cream or sipping a soothing cup of tea gets overshadowed by dental pain that makes you wince; it's time to contact our office. As skilled providers of care, we'll determine what's causing your discomfort and perform the treatment required to alleviate your symptoms and get you back on the road to oral health.

What causes a cavity to develop?

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Cavities develop because of an infectious process that causes progressive damage to tooth structure. Despite starting as a pinpoint defect on the outermost enamel layer of your tooth, untreated dental decay progressively compromises more and more healthy tooth structure as it works its way to the inner layers of your tooth.

Can I still get a cavity if my tooth already has a filling?

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Yes, you can still develop tooth decay on other surfaces of the tooth, around the margins of an old filling, or in fewer instances, recurrent decay underneath it. For this reason, it's essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene, a diet low in sugary beverages and sweets, and be sure to visit our office for routine checkups and care. While tooth decay is second only to the common cold in frequency, it's almost entirely preventable.

Is it possible to have more than one filling done at the same visit?

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We value the time and comfort of our patients. If cavities are located on adjacent teeth, or in the same section of your smile, it may be possible to treat more than one tooth during your visit. However, how much is done each visit depends on several factors. We keep our patients well informed and tailor every treatment plan and visit to address their unique needs.

Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

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Addressing concerns on the presence of elemental mercury in silver fillings, the American Dental Association (ADA), The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FDA, and the World Health Organization have all stated that amalgam restorations do not pose a risk to health. However, individuals with allergies or sensitivities to the metals in dental amalgam are advised to pursue other restorative options.

Does it hurt to get a filling?

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Dental fillings are performed under local anesthesia to help ensure your comfort throughout the entire procedure. The involved tooth remains completely numb for the extent of your visit. Within one or two hours after the procedure is completed, the local anesthetic will gradually wear off, and normal sensations return.

When can I eat after my visit?

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A tooth-colored composite filling is fully hardened and set by the end of your visit. However, we may advise you to wait a couple of hours until the local anesthesia has completely worn off. This advice is to help ensure you don't accidentally bite your lip, cheek, or tongue while still numb.

How long do dental fillings last?

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The lifetime of a dental filling varies depending on the type of material used. While popular dental materials can last a decade or more with proper care, they can degrade over time, wear down, or even break. When this happens, you may experience some tooth sensitivity, a jagged edge, or a loose or dislodged piece of filling material. Whatever the case may be, it's essential to get the filling replaced before the tooth sustains further damage or other consequences arise. Beyond taking good care of your smile we can help ensure the longevity of your fillings, our office regularly checks the status of your existing fillings as part of a routine checkup exam.

How much do fillings cost?

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Dental fillings are an essential investment that serves to preserve and protect the health of your smile. With that said, how much a filling costs depends on the number of surfaces of the tooth involved and the filling material that is used. Amalgam restorations are the most economical. While tooth-colored composite fillings have a slightly higher cost, they offer the added benefits of being metal-free and much more aesthetically pleasing. Ceramic fillings, inlays, and onlays are more expensive than the preceding options but provide outstanding, long-lasting, and natural-looking results.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of getting a filling?

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Dental insurances typically cover the cost of dental fillings. While we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits, there may still be an out-of-pocket expense. At the office of Urban Smiles Dental, we strive to help you begin care without any additional financial stress or delay.

About Us

Our goal is to help every patient experience the benefits of good oral health and a beautiful smile. We value the trust you have placed in our office and strive to provide solutions that meet your dental needs and expectations of care.

Questions?