Dental fillings are one of the most common types of dental procedures in the United States. At some point in their life, most people will have to either have a cavity filled or choose dental restoration for other issues. Here’s a look at some commonly asked questions about dental fillings.

What Are Dental Fillings For?

Dental fillings are used when you have a cavity. They close off holes in the enamel where bacteria can enter. Dental fillings also stop the decay from continuing to spread throughout your tooth and over to other teeth.

What Is the Process of Getting a Dental Filling?

Generally, you start with a consultation. During that initial appointment, the dentist does a visual exam of your mouth and takes X-rays of your teeth. If those processes identify the need for any fillings, the dentist makes another appointment for you to get the work done. If you need multiple fillings in different parts of your mouth, you may opt to have the work done over several different appointments.

In some cases, fillings are relatively small and shallow, and you may opt to let the dentist do the work after just applying a gel-based local anesthetic. However, in most cases, patients opt to get numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic as well. Then, you truly can’t feel the process, although, you will be able to hear the work being done. Patients who are really anxious about the process may even opt for nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or sedation dentistry.

Once you are comfortable, the dentist removes the decay from your mouth. Then, the dentist fills the cavity. Finally, the dentist applies a special light to the dental filling to help it cure.

Atlanta Dental Fillings

Are Dental Fillings Related to Root Canals?

Decay that has reached the nerve may have to be treated with root canal therapy or through pulp capping which will attempt to keep the nerve alive. That can also be related to a filling.

Again, for this procedure, the dentist simply removes the decay and places the filling to restore the missing shape of the tooth to its original anatomy. However, if the decay has damaged the enamel, passed the dentin layer, and penetrated into the pulp of the tooth that houses the nerve inside the nerve canal, this issue can’t be addressed with only a regular filling. The dentist first needs to clean the canal that houses the nerve to remove the inflammatory bacterial agent that causes pain and discomfort and remove the nerve of the tooth followed by filling the empty nerve canal. This canal restoration uses a different material and sometimes a plastic pin to provide a larger bonding surface allowing a more ideal and stronger final tooth restoration. The restoration of choice after root canals is usually crowned to protect the entire surface of the tooth. Dental restorations can be direct restorations such as composite fillings or indirect and lab-made such as dental crowns, inlays, and onlays.

Why Aren’t Fillings Silver Like They Used to Be?

In previous years the choices for dental fillings were amalgam (silver-colored fillings), and composite (white-colored fillings). After studies suggested that there may be mercury released from the amalgam fillings into the oral cavity, the trend has shifted to use mainly composite fillings. The composite fillings also tend to be more conservative as they don’t need to have a specific shape to retain the filling like the amalgam filling. Composite fillings harden, and as they harden they shrink in size.


If you would like to have a Atlanta dental exam to determine whether you need dental fillings or other procedures call Buckhead Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at 404-400-0400 or contact us online for more information. We look forward to meeting you!

Dental fillings are a restorative dentistry treatment used for patients who underwent endodontic work. Patients who’ve had a root canal need dental fillings to maintain the tooth’s structural integrity.

The most common concern after you’ve gotten a tooth filling is discoloration. Make sure you get in touch with our cosmetic dentist to ensure you get the treatment you require and avoid any downsides.

Depending on your requirements and specialist availability, your session might be limited to two or four fillings. We need time to apply the filling, install any supporting structures, and ensure the material hardens to seal the opening made.

The dentist will first have to drill a hole into the back of your tooth, meaning the lingual surface, apply the filling material, and finally seal any openings created. You will require local sedation for the procedure but won’t need any prolonged recovery time.

You’ll have your pick of cast gold, silver fillings (amalgams), tooth-colored composites, ceramic, and glass ionomers. Make sure you consult with your dentist about what the best filling material is for you.

In most cases, you should get a permanent filling. However, if you require an urgent and temporary filling, it may be because your dentist has to stabilize your tooth due to an accident or sudden direct trauma to the piece until you can get a permanent filling.

The most immediate concern you’ll have is increased tooth sensitivity. You shouldn’t experience any pain, but you should still notify your dentist if the sensation arises. Please avoid hot and cold foods or beverages for a couple of days.