Dental Fillings Can Restore Your Teeth and Strengthen Your Oral Health
If you have a tooth that is decayed or damaged, our dentists can restore its natural function in just one office visit. Dental fillings are used to fill the tooth after cavity treatment. At New Jersey Dental Centers, we offer both silver amalgam as well as tooth-colored fillings for durable, effective results. As an added benefit, most dental insurance plans offer partial or complete dental filling coverage, and we can file your insurance claim for you. We also provide in-office payment options and CareCredit® to help make treatment more affordable.
Do I Need a Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are a common restorative procedure that we perform to restore teeth that have suffered from mild to moderate cases of decay. You may need a dental filling if you have:
- Tooth sensitivity, especially to hot, cold, or sugary foods
- Tooth pain, especially when chewing or biting down
- Visible pitting or holes in the tooth
The best way to determine if you need a dental filling is to schedule an exam with one of our trusted doctors so they can determine if there is any decay or damage that requires cavity treatment. For more extensive damage, you may require a dental crown or an inlay or onlay.
Amalgam vs. Composite Resin
Traditionally, amalgam fillings have been used to fill dental cavities; however, many patients choose composite resin fillings because they are tooth-colored and blend more seamlessly with the existing tooth. In fact, the same material is used to provide dental bonding. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made with multiple metals, such as silver, copper, tin, zinc, and mercury. Composite resin is an extremely strong compound made of glass and plastic materials. Both amalgam and tooth-colored fillings come in soft forms, and once they are placed, the materials can provide a strong surface. In choosing the right option for you, you may want to consider the pros and cons of each:
What to Expect During the Procedure
Once it has been determined that you have a cavity, the doctor can fill it immediately or our staff can schedule an additional appointment. The dental filling procedure consists of five simple steps:
- Exam: A digital x-ray will be required in order to diagnose a dental cavity. Our dentists will review the images of your teeth and gums to determine the extent of the damage and the exact location of the cavity.
- Anesthesia: After x-rays, the doctor can numb the tooth and tissue around it with a local anesthetic for optimal comfort.
Most dental insurance plans offer partial or complete dental filling coverage, and we can file your insurance claim for you.
- Preparation: Once you are comfortable, the doctor will prepare the tooth by removing unhealthy bacteria and carefully disinfecting the tooth. This will require gentle tooth reshaping with WaterLase™ laser technology to create room for the filling.
- Filling Application: The dentist will then apply either amalgam or composite resin inside the small space and make sure it is firmly compacted. For composite fillings, a special curing light is used to harden the resin.
- Reshaping and Polishing: Once the filling has been placed, the dentist will remove any excess material, check your bite for a proper fit, and polish the tooth for a smooth texture.
You can eat immediately if you have received a composite filling. If you have had an amalgam filling, you should wait at least 24 hours to eat.
Improve Your Oral Health
If you are experiencing any level of dental sensitivity or tooth pain, you may require a dental filling in order to restore dental function and alleviate discomfort. Call our 14 beautiful offices or contact our office online to schedule your dental exam.