A filling is a dental restoration that is most commonly needed when tooth decay has caused a hole or cavity to form on a tooth surface. Fillings can also repair a chipped tooth or damage from grinding that causes the tooth surface to become worn down. Fillings repair teeth and stop tooth decay. If you do not get the tooth repaired, the cavity will get worse and lead to more severe problems, potentially including painful infection or tooth abscess and ultimately, bone loss. There is almost no risk involved in having a cavity filled. It is important to start treatment before tooth decay becomes worse. More severe decay may cause pain and tooth loss and may require a crown, root canal, or tooth removal (extraction).
In most cases, your dentist will use a drill to remove tooth decay. Once all decay is removed, your dentist will determine the type of tooth restoration that is most appropriate based on the size and location of the cavity. If the cavity is too large to restore the tooth with a filling, a crown may be necessary.
As with many dental procedures, fillings are restorative (purpose is to repair teeth) but also cosmetic. Dental fillings should blend in and look the same as your natural teeth. Old silver amalgam fillings can be distracting and make a tooth look darker than the rest of your smile. The most attractive fillings are the ones you can’t see when you speak or smile. At McCarl Dental Group we use aesthetic composite fillings which are white fillings that match the color of your teeth. Composite resin is tooth-colored material used to fill a cavity after removing tooth decay. Fillings can last many years. It is important to replace worn or cracked fillings because tooth decay can occur beneath a filling that does not have a tight seal.
If your dentist used local anesthetic, your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the numbing medicine wears off. Be careful not to chew on your lip or cheek while that area is numb. A tooth with a new large filling may be sensitive to heat and cold for days to weeks. We always check your bite carefully after filling a tooth but minor adjustments may be necessary to ensure a perfect bite. This takes only a few minutes and there is no charge. Simply call us to schedule a convenient time for a quick adjustment – there is no additional charge. If you still have sensitivity after the adjustment of the height of the filling, try Sensodyne or other toothpastes that may help decrease temporary sensitivity.
Please visit our dental office in Millersville and Greenbelt Maryland for state of the art dental care.
The majority of dental patients who visit McCarl Dental Group live in College Park, Lanham, Seabrook, Bowie, New Carrollton, Laurel, Greenbelt, Severna Park, Annapolis, Crofton, Crownsville and Millersville Maryland.