What are dental fillings? What should I expect during and after the filling?

Composite FillingsDr. Pilon took some time to create a video that explains the process and what you can expect.

Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that are broken, cracked, worn, chipped, or decayed. Composite fillings can also be used to close spaces between teeth. The process involves removing the affected portion of the tooth, and filling the area with a composite filling.

Composite fillings can usually be placed in a single appointment. It will start with a numbing injection near the repair site. In cases where the decay is near a nerve, your dentist will apply a special medication to protect the nerve.

Modern dentists use resin composite for tooth fillings. Resin composite is a tooth-colored restorative material made of small filler particles of glass-like material for strength and wear resistance. The particles contain the finest and most up-to-date materials available today.

After the decay has been removed from your tooth, the cleansing gel is applied. Next, a bonding solution is applied, followed by the composite filling material.

Composite is hardened by applying a high-intensity blue light to the area. It only takes a few seconds for the material to harden. Once the tooth is filled and the composite is hardened, the filling is checked to ensure the proper shape and appearance.

Necessary adjustments are made and then your filling is complete.


What to Expect During and After Dental Tooth Fillings

Sensitivity to hot and cold is common for a few weeks following a dental restoration. The deeper the cavity, the more sensitive the tooth will be.

If the bite does not feel balanced, an adjustment may be required.

The gums may also be irritated during the procedure and may be a little tender for a few days along with the injection site.

The finished restoration may have a slightly different contour than your original tooth, and your tongue may magnify the small difference. You will become accustomed to this in a few days.

Always practice good hygiene and eating habits, and remember to schedule regular follow up dental visits to prolong the life of your composite dental fillings.