Dental fillings are a common procedure that eliminates bacteria causing decay and stops future damage to your teeth. This treatment is a relatively quick and painless process for patients that restores your tooth’s integrity and strength. Although cavities and subsequent dental fillings are fairly easy to avoid with proper oral hygiene, the process of getting a filling is usually less painful than patients might initially think.

As with all of our treatments and procedures at Corner Dentistry, your comfort is our top priority. Although no one looks forward to being told they need a filling, we try to go the extra mile to make the process as easy as possible.

Types of Dental Fillings

Over the years, there have been more types of fillings introduced to the dental scene. The type of filling that will work best for you will be determined based on the extent of current decay, your allergies, the location of the filling, and your budget. Below are the most common dental fillings we offer at Corner Dentistry.

Composite resin fillings

This type of filling is one of the most popular options for patients because of how well it blends in with teeth without having a big price tag. These fillings are typically composed of glass or quartz and can be tailored to match the shade of your tooth. Composite fillings are most frequently used for small to medium sized fillings in areas with low amounts of chewing. When properly maintained and cared for, composite fillings can last between 7-10 years.

types of dental fillings

Silver fillings

Also referred to as dental amalgam fillings, this type of filling has been around the longest and is still one of the most popular options today. Its popularity is attributed to some key features: this kind of filling is stronger, more durable (lasts between 10-15 years), and less expensive than other options. Its biggest drawback is its color. Since it’s darker than the natural off-white color of teeth, it’s more noticeable than alternatives.

Ceramic or porcelain fillings

Similar to composite fillings, ceramic or porcelain fillings are another filling option that blends into the teeth. The biggest difference between this filling and composite fillings is that ceramic/porcelain ones are less likely to show stains over time, but are a more expensive option than composite fillings. This type of filling is most commonly used for restoration where it spans over the area of the whole tooth.

Gold fillings

Although gold fillings are commonly thought of as the best type of filling by many dental professionals, its cost is prohibitive for many patients – costing nearly 10 times as much as a silver filling. Many dentists like this filling since it’s made in a laboratory, is well tolerated by gums, and can last an upwards of 20 years, but the cost rules it out as an option for most.

Our Filling Process

filling being cured with UV light

Our dental filling process takes into consideration our patients’ comfort first and foremost. We start every filling with thorough numbing around the tooth. Once the numbing has had a chance to set in, Dr. Shim will then clean the area of decay and sterilize the cavity. Sterilization of the cavity is one of the most important steps: if bacteria is left unchecked, it can continue to spread, causing increasingly severe damage to the tooth and even surrounding teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene and visiting Corner Dentistry for frequent cleanings will help prevent future cavities and detect any decay early enough for a small filling.

After the filling is cleaned, Dr. Shim will place the filling into the hole and mold it to the tooth and surrounding teeth. If you received a composite filling, it will then be cured by a UV light to chemically bond it to the tooth. Your mouth will most likely feel numb for a few hours after the treatment, but that should be the extent of the discomfort. Your tooth will now be stronger and more resilient than it was before!

Filling Replacements

Depending on what kind of filling you originally received, you might need to get it replaced every so often. As noted above, some fillings last longer than others, so regular visits to Corner Dentistry will help Dr. Shim keep an eye on your current fillings to asses if and when they need to be replaced. Proper care and maintenance will help your fillings last as long as possible, but daily wear and tear can shorten their lifetime, particularly if you grind or clench your teeth.

Regular appointments with Dr. Shim is the best way to determine if you need a filling replaced, but if you notice any cracks or worn areas, they should be replaced as soon as possible. When cracked fillings are left untreated, it can result in the tooth cracking or additional decay developing around the filling. When this happens, a crown is usually the best option to ensure the area of damage is fully addressed and restored.

Dental Filling Services in Phoenix

Whether you think your tooth might be infected or you need a filling replaced, Corner Dentistry will be able to assess the best course of action for your specific case. With over a decade of experience, we’ll ensure the comfort and oral health of our patients before, during, and after their procedure.

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