Fillings and Sealants

Tooth decay and cavities are common dental issues. Receiving a tooth-colored filling to restore your tooth helps prevents the problem from developing into something worse.

Tooth Fillings and Sealants

What is a tooth filling?

A filling is a simple restoration procedure primarily used to restore cavities or other mild decay or deterioration. Fillings are extremely common and have a high success rate. We offer options for composite fillings and amalgam fillings—both are safe. Which type we use depends on your needs, but we commonly use composite fillings because they are tooth-colored and appear more natural for teeth that are visible and easier for others to see or notice.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are a thin coating that is painted on teeth to protect them from cavities, they are typically used in children, but can be used in adults as well. Sealants are a quick and affordable option to preventing cavities and tooth fillings.

Illustration of a bottom row of teeth with different fillings applied
  • How do cavity fillings work?

    Cavity and tooth fillings are required because of the deterioration of holes left in the tooth due to tooth decay. Left unchecked, the decay will continue to spread and damage the tooth. During the filling, procedure dentists clean away the decay inside the cavity, usually with a drill to prevent further damage. But this doesn’t fix the damage that has already been created, so a filling is necessary. The intent of the filling is to replace the part of the tooth that is missing or destroyed by tooth decay. The dentist molds the filling to match the shape of the surrounding tooth, which restores the strength and integrity of the toot and prevents further decay from happening.

  • Who qualifies for dental sealants?

    Sealants are designed for healthy teeth that have yet to develop cavities. In most cases, they’re placed on permanent molars shortly after they come in (around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively.) However, adults can choose to get sealants too. It may be that their childhood sealants came off or they’re starting to develop cavities in other teeth for the first time.

    Investing in affordable dental sealants can help you prevent more extensive (and expensive) oral health treatments in the future.

  • Should I have tooth sensitivity after a filling?

    When you get a filling, the area around the infected tooth is numbed by your dentist. As a result, you likely won’t feel anything for an hour or two after your appointment but once the numbing wears off it is typical to feel pain in your teeth and gums.
    Pain is common when drinking or eating anything that is hot or cold. It is also common when you brush or floss near the infected tooth. Tender gums are also typical after getting a cavity filled.

    Minimize Tooth Sensitivity

    You can reduce the sensitivity in your teeth and gums by:

    • Taking an anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil or Motrin
    • Temporarily avoiding hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages such as fruit, wine, and yogurt
    • Brush and floss more gently
    • Use a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive

Questions About Fillings and Sealants?

If you have any questions about fillings and sealants, contact us or request an appointment using the links below, or explore the variety of other dental services we provide.