Cavities and Dental Fillings

When plaque or bacteria damage the surface of a tooth, it can begin to decay, forming a cavity or hole within the tooth. Dental fillings can help restore a damaged tooth back to its regular function and appearance, as well as prevent future decay by reducing area where bacteria can enter the tooth.

Small cracks in teeth often go unnoticed by the patient until a dental check up, which is why we stress the importance of scheduling a semi-annual checkup to prevent more serious damage.

What is the Procedure Like?

To ensure the maximum comfort of our patients, we offer local anesthesia for dental fillings. The process takes about 30 minutes, and although you can eat and drink after a filling, unencumbered, we recommend waiting for the anesthesia to wear off (1 hr) before resuming daily functions.

When selecting a filling material, our dentists consider a number of factors to select the best one for you. This includes but isn't limited to: the size of the cavity, your preference, possible allergies, and cost.

  • Composite Resin:
    This mercury-free filling is made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles that match the color of your teeth. Since the color can be customized, it is the most aesthetically pleasing and natural looking option. Composite resin is ideal for repairing chipped or cracked teeth, filling in a tooth gap, correcting dental discoloration, protecting any exposed tooth root from gum recession, or changing the shape of teeth. Patients may also choose composite resin for cavity fillings as they are bonded to the teeth in layers and therefore require less drilling away of the natural tooth.

  • Amalgam:
    This type of filling is made from a mixture of metals including mercury and silver, and does not match the color of your teeth. It is most commonly used for fillings in the molars and other back teeth, not to interfere with your smile. One benefit of amalgam is that is a strong material and makes for especially long-lasting fillings.