Restorative Dental Fillings
When a tooth experiences enough decay, small holes can develop that can be corrected with dental fillings. Dental fillings can also be used following physical trauma to fill in the fractures or cracks that may have resulted in order to prevent an infection from developing and spreading and avoid decay. If the damage or decay is significant, a dental crown may be necessary instead to protect the tooth and preserve your oral health.
Although there are several different material types of fillings, we encourage our patients to use composite fillings, as they provide the same level of support as traditional fillings but provide a much more natural look. Additional benefits of composite fillings include:
- Strengthens your tooth: Along with creating a tight bond with your tooth which will strengthen your enamel, tooth-colored fillings also require less removal of your natural enamel compared to traditional metal fillings.
- Restores your smile: Tooth-colored fillings will help prevent further damage to your tooth while letting you preserve your natural smile.
- Reduces risk of developing other issues: If a cavity is left untreated, the tooth can decay even further, which may necessitate the need for a tooth extraction or root canal. Cavities also increase your risk of developing infections, like gum disease.
- Stability: Metal fillings can contract and expand over time, which can cause your teeth to weak, whereas composite fillings do not.
- Natural look: Unlike traditional metal fillings, which are very noticeable when smiling, tooth-colored fillings provide the same level of support while matching the natural color of your teeth.
- Minimally invasive procedure: Dental fillings can be placed in one visit and cause minimal discomfort.
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Dental Filling Process
The dental filling process begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Hamrick, who will conduct a thorough oral examination to determine whether dental fillings are necessary, and if so, the underlying cause of decay. Although dental fillings are an effective treatment option to address decay, other restorative procedures may be better suited to your particular needs, such as dental crowns.
If it is determined that dental fillings are the best treatment option, Dr. Hamrick will clean your mouth then numb the area to reduce or eliminate discomfort. Dental sedation will also be available to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure, though this is not generally needed. Next, Dr. Hamrick will remove the decay and prepare the tooth for placement of the filling. Once the tooth is prepared, the composite filling is placed in layers and cured.
Following the dental filling procedure, it is normal to feel a numbing sensation for several hours, after which you can resume your normal activities. It is also common to have some sensitivity following the filling procedure that may last for a few weeks. This sensitivity usually goes away with time, but if you continue to experience extreme sensitivity or pain following the dental filling procedure, contact us right away. It is also important to schedule an appointment if your filling ever falls out or cracks so we can provide a replacement and ensure that additional damage does not occur to the tooth and surrounding teeth.
Preserve the Integrity and Longevity of Your Dental Fillings
Following your dental filling treatment, it is important to follow good oral hygiene habits to avoid needing additional fillings in the future. Be sure to continue brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and avoid use of tobacco. We also encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months to ensure the health and sustained brightness of your smile. In addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment. These regular check-ups also allow us to examine the integrity of the filling and ensure no additional decay has occurred. If you follow these best practices, you will enjoy a bright, white, healthy smile for many years to come.
Cost of Dental Fillings
For patients with dental insurance, the total cost of treatment for dental fillings will depend on whether the procedure is covered under your plan, and if so, how much is covered. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan does cover dental fillings and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Fall in Love with Your Smile Again
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will ensure your sustained oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To schedule your appointment for dental fillings or learn more about our services, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125.