Dental Fillings Chapel Hill, NC

Do you have a tooth cavity that requires cleaning and a filling? Is tooth pain causing you issues? You may have a tooth cavity or tooth decay. If so, you will require a dental filling to fix the tooth and prevent further damage to the tooth. Tooth decay is a progressive dental process and will continue to eat away at your tooth until it is stopped. A tooth filling is a conservative treatment that your dentist can complete in a single visit to stop the progression and fix the damage. Dr. James Furgurson offers dental fillings in Chapel Hill, NC for patients who are suffering from cavities.

dental fillings in Chapel Hill, NC

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a common restorative dental procedure that dentists use to repair teeth. The goal is always to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Dentists will use a dental filling to fill tooth cavities as well as for minor tooth fractures, small chips in teeth, broken teeth, and worn down teeth.

A dental filling will restore the tooth’s function, prevent further decay, strengthen the tooth, and help restore its original shape and appearance. The process involves removing the damaged portion of the tooth and then filling in that hole with the chosen material and curing it.

Dr. Furgurson and his associates at Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer several types of filling materials for your tooth depending on which one needs treated. They typically use 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, Dr. Furgurson or Dr. White may recommend a composite resin filling. For a tooth with more significant decay or damage, our dentists may recommend a porcelain filling, inlay, or onlay. The greater the damage to the tooth, the stronger the material needed to restore its strength and stability.

Replacing Metal Dental Fillings

Amalgam fillings have been used for many years but have recently been replaced by more aesthetic materials. Amalgam fillings are very strong and durable however they are made from metal. The silver appearance is very noticeable when you smile or speak which leads to embarrassment. Many people are opting to replace them newer, more aesthetic dental fillings. Dr. Furgurson can replace old, dark, worn down, and leaking amalgam fillings with new white fillings. This offers you improved oral health and an instant smile makeover. For a more robust and dramatic result, consider porcelain veneers to hide tooth imperfections.

The Dental Filling Procedure at Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

The exact procedure for your tooth filling may vary based on the size, location, and type of tooth filling. Sometimes your dentist can complete a small filling with minimal preparation to the tooth and not administer an anesthetic. The dental fillings process should not take more than a single visit.

First, your dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any existing fillings and creating a stable foundation for the new filling. We can complete a resin filling 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. Then your dentist will cement it 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.

The Pros and Cons of Composite Dental Fillings

The best dental filling for you really depends on several factors such as where the tooth is located, the size of the cavity, and your budget. However, a “white” dental filling is offers the most aesthetic benefits but it does have some disadvantages.

Advantages of Composite Dental Fillings

  • White composite fillings will blend in naturally with the rest of your surrounding teeth. This makes it the preferred choice among patients. No one will be able to tell your tooth has a filling.
  • They are very versatile as they can be used for the front or back teeth. A composite filling is very strong and durable.
  • Your dentist will be able to preserve more of the tooth. Compared to amalgam fillings, less healthy tooth structure will need to be removed.
  • Composite resin bonds directly to the tooth. This will provide added support and reduce the risk of fractures in the tooth.
  • Composite fillings generally cause less tooth sensitivity compared to amalgam fillings post procedure.

Disadvantages of Composite Dental Fillings

  • While white fillings are very strong, they are not as long lasting as other materials like metal fillings. This is especially true if they are placed on the back teeth where there is a lot of chewing force.
  • Composite fillings are easier to stain and discolor. For this reason, we recommend limiting red wine, soda, coffee, and tea as well as smoking.
  • White fillings will cost you more because the materials and techniques cost more.
  • Composite dental fillings do not work for large dental fillings or on teeth with heavy chewing forces. We may need to recommend a different material or dental restoration.

Dental Filling FAQs

To learn more about dental fillings, read the answers to our frequently asked question about the treatment.

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 dentists near me 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 glue 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”. However you may need a more appropriate treatment if the tooth has undergone further damage. It may be best to restore it with a dental crown, inlay, or onlay which will cover the tooth like a cap.

Why does my filling feel sensitive?

Your filling may feel sensitive after your dentist places it. These feelings should go away after about a week or two. It is completely normal and is just part of the adjustment period. If sensitivity lasts longer than a month contact your dentist.

How many times can a dentist replace my dental filling?

A dentist can replace your filling as many times as you need it. We may need to stop replacing your filling if the hole in your tooth is too large. At this point restoration options still are available but composite fillings are not.

Can I brush my teeth after cavity filling?

It is perfectly safe to brush your teeth after a cavity filling. It is important to be gentle when brushing and flossing around your filling but it is perfectly safe and encouraged.