Dental fillings are typically used to restore tooth cavities but can be also used to repair broken, cracked or worn teeth. Chapel Hill, NC dentist Dr. James Furgurson and his associates at Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer several choices in material for tooth fillings, including composite materials and porcelain for the most natural looking restorations.
Most patients today prefer “white” fillings because they are indistinguishable from their natural teeth. For a tooth with minimal decay or damage, Drs. Furgurson or White may recommend a composite resin filling. For a tooth with more significant decay or damage, the dentist may recommend a porcelain filling, or inlay or onlay. The greater the damage to the tooth, the stronger the material needed to restore its strength and stability. Our dentists can replace old, dark and leaking amalgam fillings with new white fillings for improved oral health and an instant smile makeover.
The Dental Filling Procedure
The exact procedure for your tooth filling may vary based on the size, location, and type of tooth filling. Some small fillings can be completed with minimal preparation for the tooth and do not require an anesthetic.
First, your dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any existing fillings and creating a stable foundation for the new filling. Resin fillings can be completed in one visit. Dr. Furgurson or White will place the composite resin on the tooth and cure it with a special light.
Porcelain and gold tooth fillings are made in a dental laboratory and cemented into place in our Chapel Hill dentist office. This type of filling typically takes two to three appointments. The dentist may place a temporary filling on the tooth to offer protection in between visits.
Dental Filling FAQ
- What is the best type of tooth filling?
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution in dentistry. Dr. Furgurson will evaluate your condition and recommend the best choice for your situation. Generally speaking, Dr. Furgurson prefers to use “white fillings” made of either composite resin or ceramic material for a natural-looking restoration.
- Do you fix broken fillings?
- If you have a lost or broken filling, contact our office to schedule an appointment. We make all attempts to see patients for dental emergencies on the same day. Dr. Furgurson will provide prompt attention to repair the damaged tooth and restore the dental filling. Please do not attempt to reglue the filling to your tooth as you could cause further damage.
- Do you replace metal fillings?
- In some cases, we may be able to remove an old metal filling and replace it with a more natural-looking “white filling”. If the tooth’s structure has been compromised, it may be best to restore it with a dental crown, inlay or onlay which will cover the tooth like a cap.