What is a filling?
A dental filling is any material used to replace part of your natural tooth so that it looks and acts like a normal tooth again.
This material is also sometimes used to stabilize a tooth prior to placing a crown over top. This type of filling is called a “core buildup”.
Why would I want a filling?
Typically fillings are done after a contaminated part of your tooth (a cavity) is removed. When we can, we try to perform fillings since they are one of the simplest and most minimally invasive ways to treat dental disease or broken teeth.
See our resources to learn more about cavities.
How does it work?
The first step to any filling is to completely remove the dental cavity and cleanse the area to remove any bacteria that may be present. Once that process is complete, a series of dental materials are used to clean and bond the inside surface.
Once the filling is ready to be placed, a soft tooth colored material is pressed into the space and a bright blue light is used to make the material hard enough to chew on.
We clean up the edges of the filling and then check to make sure the filling feels like your natural tooth whenever you bite together.
Typically you can resume normal chewing and at home hygiene immediately afterwards. Any time we do a filling, the tooth itself may be sensitive to temperatures and to biting for up to a week.