If you have a cavity, a dental filling can prevent further damage to your enamel and preserve your natural tooth. At Impressive Dental Care in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Lea Planzos, DMD, MS, Penny Planzos, DMD, MS, and Thomas Planzos, DMD, use tooth-colored fillings to preserve teeth and improve smiles. To make an appointment, call the office today or book online.

What are fillings?

Dental fillings use synthetic materials like plastic, glass, or metal to repair tooth enamel damaged by decay. If you develop a cavity, a filling provides a quick and effective way to restore your tooth to its near-original size, shape, and appearance.

Impressive Dental Care uses tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin. Composite resin is similar to the color of your teeth, so the fillings blend in with your smile.

What is the process for getting fillings?

At Impressive Dental Care, getting a filling takes a single visit.

Your provider reviews your dental records and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, if they’re worse during certain activities, and if they respond to anti-inflammatory medication.

Your provider then completes an oral exam and takes X-rays. They use these X-rays to assess the extent of the decay and determine the best treatment. If there’s only mild decay, your provider applies a filling. If the decay is extensive, they might recommend a crown instead.

Your Impressive Dental Care provider numbs your mouth with a local anesthetic to apply a filling. They remove the decayed part of your tooth. Last, your provider fills the hole in your tooth with the composite resin. A specially designed lamp is used to harden the resin.

Do fillings take a long time to set?

Composite fillings take about an hour to apply, but it may take a day for the material to dry. Avoid biting down or chewing with the new filling for at least 24 hours.

What is recovery like after getting a filling?

After you get a filling, it takes a few hours for the anesthesia to wear off. When that happens, you can experience mild tooth sensitivity. To reduce the discomfort, Impressive Dental Care recommends:

  • Chewing with the other side of your mouth
  • Brushing and flossing more gently than usual
  • Avoiding hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Using desensitizing toothpaste

If the pain affects your ability to bite and chew, take anti-inflammatory medication before eating.

How long do fillings last?

Composite resin fillings last 5-15 years*, but it’s possible to extend their lifespan by practicing good oral hygiene. Impressive Dental Care recommends brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing regularly. They ask that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning.

To see if you need dental fillings, make an appointment at Impressive Dental Care by calling the office or booking online today.