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    Dental Fillings


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    When plaque or calculus builds up on your teeth, bacteria, and toxins cause the enamel to wear out, causing pits or cavities. If the tooth breakdown continues, bacteria grow, leading to infections, decay, and tooth loss. The Lakewood Dentist treats these cavities and cracks using dental fillings to restore oral health, functionality, and aesthetics. We have explained dental fillings, signs you need the treatment, the various types of fillings, how to pick the suitable options, and the steps involved in the remedy if you are looking for a solution to tooth decay and cavities.

    A Quick Glance at Dental Fillings

    Otherwise called tooth fillings, dental fillings are restorations used to repair tooth caries, decay, or cracks. The remedy is also used to prevent continued tooth decay and relieve the pain associated with caries.

    You develop cavities, or caries, when bacteria wear off your enamel, resulting in tooth disintegration and demineralization. If you do not arrest the problem early, the bacteria will eat away at the tooth until it falls off.

    Applying tooth fillings repairs the cracks, breakages, chips, damages, and fractures, restoring the tooth’s shape, appearance, and strength. The breakages and fractures on the teeth develop because of wear caused by age advancement, bruxism, and incorrect use of teeth to open soda bottle tops or bite hard surfaces.

    Detecting cavities, decay, or breakages in the mouth is difficult. It would help if you visited your dentist for an examination and to explain your symptoms to address the problem before it becomes severe, requiring an extraction.

    Indications You Need Dental Fillings

    You can tell if your cavity needs a tooth filling if you experience the following signs:

    Most tooth decay or cavities are discovered during routine checkups and cleanings. Therefore, you should consider visiting your dentist twice annually for an examination and cleaning. If the dentist detects cavities or signs of decay and breakages, they can recommend dental fillings before the problems cause other dental and general health complications.

    At The Lakewood Dentist, we will examine the extent of your tooth breakage or decay to craft the ideal tooth-filling treatment. However, if the fractures are large and the decay is extensive, our general dentists will recommend dental crowns or implants as alternative treatments.

    Dental Fillings Types

    When choosing the right tooth fillings for your caries, you should consult your dentist first to understand the available treatments and filling materials that will give you the best results. Our general dentists at The Lakewood Dentist will answer all your queries regarding tooth filling types and recommend the appropriate procedure and material depending on your budget, history, personal preference, or the size and location of the tooth. Also, we will explain the benefits and demerits of each material. The tooth filling types you should expect when you visit our clinic are:

    1. Composite or White Fillings

    If you want to match the filling with the color of existing natural teeth, your general dentist will recommend composite resin material for tooth restoration. The tooth fillings are ideal for the anterior teeth to give you a pearl-white smile.

    Composite fillings feature glass and acrylic, producing a restoration that resembles your natural teeth. Their ability to chemically bond with the tooth structure also enables them to offer more support to the affected tooth than amalgam. The versatility of white fillings makes them suitable for restoring chipped, fractured, and worn-out teeth. Also, dental fillings made of composite material are appropriate if you have cavities or decayed teeth.

    Another advantage of composite resin material for your dental fillings is that it requires minimal extraction of dentin and enamel compared to gold fillings. Only the decayed section is removed, enabling you to retain most of your tooth’s natural structure.

    However, composite fillings have their downsides. They are less durable than other fillings because they wear off quickly. If you choose this material for your fillings, you should expect them to last 60 to 120 months with proper care before replacement. Again, they are susceptible to chipping and breaking under pressure, which makes them unsuitable for posterior teeth or individuals with bad habits of chewing on hard objects.

    Also, composite fillings are unsuitable if you have extensive dental caries, as the material will not bond with the tooth structure. A composite filling procedure lasts longer than an amalgam procedure, as the material must be applied one layer at a time and cured with a special light before another layer is applied. In terms of money, composite materials are more costly than amalgam fillings.

    1. Ceramic or Porcelain Fillings

    Tooth fillings made of porcelain are known as inlays or onlays. The ceramic material makes these restorations aesthetically appealing and durable, although expensive. Therefore, if you are operating with a tight budget, we will not recommend these fillings as they cost nearly the same as gold fillings.

    During treatment for these fillings, your dentist shapes caries, molds an impression of your teeth, and sends it to the dental lab for inlay and onlay preparation. After the restorations are ready, they are returned to our clinic, where you come in for another appointment to bond the material with your teeth using special cement.

    The disadvantages of porcelain dental fillings over composite ones are that they are brittle and prone to fracturing. Therefore, porcelain material is inappropriate for restoring teeth that are meant to withstand a lot of chewing, like the molars. They are suitable for large cavities to prevent breakage. If your tooth has small holes, your general dentist must enlarge the cavity to create more space for the porcelain material, making the procedure expensive.

    Porcelain fillings are tooth-colored and match your natural tooth color. Besides, they are more resistant to staining than composite or white fillings. If you observe proper oral habits, these restorations can last up to fifteen years before you have to replace them.

    1. Amalgam Fillings

    Also called silver fillings, amalgam restorations are a substitute for gold fillings. These types of tooth fillings comprise materials like silver, tin, zinc, mercury alloys, and copper. The repairs are cheaper than gold but stronger and last almost the same duration as gold fillings. They last for ten to twenty years, thus outliving white fillings.

    The fact that amalgam material hardens over time makes these fillings suitable for back teeth. Also, our dentists at The Lakewood Dentist prefer them because they are flexible.

    As much as we recommend fillings made of this material to our patients, they have disadvantages. The demerits of amalgam or silver fillings are:

    Many of our patients eligible for silver fillings are wary of the presence of mercury. Nevertheless, silver fillings have been approved by the FDA and are safe for use as the mercury present is locked in the filling and only helps with hardening. Even though these tooth fillings are safe, we do not recommend them to expectant mothers and children younger than six years.

    If you have small cavities, we will not recommend amalgam fillings because you will lose most of your tooth’s healthy tissue. Also, removing the fillings before they are damaged can cause extensive damage to the tooth and mercury production, which harms your health.

    1. Gold Fillings

    As the name suggests, gold fillings comprise 75% of gold, and the remaining 25% is composed of silver and other metals.

    Tooth fillings made of gold have many benefits, including:

    Nevertheless, the fillings are not typical and are costly. Besides, you will require several visits to your dentist to have gold fillings fitted.

    Some patients experience galvanic shocks, which refer to the extreme pain experienced in the teeth when an amalgam filling is next to a gold one. The sharp pain is caused by the electric current produced when the silver or gold material comes into contact with saliva.

    Lastly, if you are looking for a tooth filling that matches your natural teeth, gold fillings are inappropriate as they are conspicuous, making them unattractive.

    1. Glass Ionomer Tooth Fillings

    Glass ionomer is another type of tooth filling that we use to restore a decayed or fractured tooth. It comprises a mixture of acrylic acid glass particles that fill a cavity, forming a robust restoration. The fillings are advantageous because they resemble or mimic the natural enamel.

    At the Lakewood Dentist, we encourage children to use these fillings because they produce fluoride, protecting teeth from continued decay. However, these fillings are not durable and are susceptible to cracking and dislodging. We insert them in appropriate areas for specific use because they are weaker than composite and last only five years.

    Picking the Best Tooth Fillings

    It would be best to establish that you need fillings before choosing your preferred material. You are a candidate for dental fillings if the following is true:

    You should discuss the right dental fillings with your dentist if you have any concerns. All five filling options seem appropriate, so choosing the right one is overwhelming. The factors that affect the choice of tooth fillings include the shape and size of cavities, cost, and preferences. Still, picking the right fillings is challenging, but at The Lakewood Dentist, we strive to make the decision easier by explaining all the filling types, benefits, and disadvantages.

    The Procedure for Filling a Tooth

    When you experience severe toothaches or sensitivity, you should call us to schedule an appointment. First, the dentist we assign to your case will conduct a thorough dental evaluation to look for decay and breakages. Your dentist will diagnose further using an x-ray to determine the depth of the decay and the appropriate treatment.

    After the examination, your general dentist will begin filling by numbing the impacted tooth. We will then inject local anesthesia into the decayed tooth to numb the jaw and soft tissue to keep you comfortable throughout the treatment.

    The next step after numbing is cleansing to prepare the tooth for filling. Preparations involve drilling with a dental drill to remove the decayed elements. When you do not wish for us to use a dental drill, we have invested in the latest technological tools like laser equipment and air abrasion to make you comfortable, depending on the caries’ location. Also, we will use acid gel to clean the food residues and bacteria. The size of the cavities will determine the preparations required before the filling. Thoroughly cleaning the filling site ensures that no bacteria is left behind that could cause infection after the restoration, causing the treatment to fail.

    Before applying the tooth filling, your dentist will test and probe the tooth to ensure all decayed materials have been removed.

    Once we confirm the tooth is free of decay or bacteria, we will move on to the next treatment phase, inserting your choice of filling material in the hole left after removing the decayed materials. The technique for applying the filling material depends on your choice of fabric. When using the material, the dental expert must seal all holes to prevent bacteria and debris from entering the tooth.

    The final step in a filling procedure is polishing to smooth the rough edges. Doing so ensures that the filling feels normal in the mouth.

    Duration of a Tooth Filling Procedure

    Typically, your tooth filling treatment takes one hour or less. If only one tooth has been affected, the treatment will take twenty minutes. Therefore, it will take longer to complete the treatment if you have several teeth with large cavities.

    However, you should note that some fillings, like the one using gold material, require several visits to the dentist. The first visit involves taking an impression of the teeth and sending it to the lab for fabrication. In the second appointment, we will fit the fillings to the teeth.


    The advantage of using our general dentistry services at The Lakewood Dentist is that after completing the filling, our dentists will take time to explain how to care for the installation and prevent dental caries under the new restoration. Also, we will educate you on how to avoid tooth decay or cavities in the remaining healthy teeth. We encourage our patients to observe healthy oral hygiene by brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste and flossing them with an interdental cleaner twice daily.

    If you have an elevated risk of cavities, we encourage you to use fluoride mouthwash to floss your teeth. Also, you can wear sealers in the molars to avert plaque buildup and caries. Lastly, we will schedule follow-up appointments to check the fillings’ progress and perform professional cleaning.

    Aftercare For Fillings

    Tooth fillings do not require special care after the procedure. However, before chewing, ensure the anesthetic is not active. You could damage the restoration or bite the tongue and soft tissue without knowing because the anesthesia is still functional. Also, steer clear of hot and cold objects.

    The gum tissue around the affected tooth will experience some tenderness in the first few days. So, steer clear of sticky or dense foods in the first few days of the procedure and wear a mouth guard to avoid unconscious tooth clenching or grinding at night, which could damage the filling.

    You will experience post-surgery sensitivity when taking hot or cold objects, although this will disappear with time. If the discomfort or sensitivity persists for weeks, contact us for an examination to establish the cause of the sensitivity.

    Caring for the restoration does not only involve brushing and flossing teeth. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding starchy or sugary substances helps keep your teeth healthy. Again, avoid poor oral habits like tobacco smoking because they elevate the risk of oral diseases and tooth discoloration. Tooth fillings are not permanent. Therefore, if you want them to serve you optimally, you must observe proper oral hygiene.

    Dental Fillings Complications

    After the tooth filling, you could experience some issues or complications. The most prevalent complications after the installation are:

    Tooth Discomfort and Sensitivity

    Postoperative tooth sensitivity is familiar with dental fillings. However, the pain will disappear with time. These symptoms are common around the filled tooth when:

    Tooth sensitivity after the operation can happen for several reasons. One of the main reasons is the irritation of the nerves inside the tooth during drilling to remove the decayed material. If the nerves are irritated, they swell, although the sensitivity and inflammation subside with time.

    Similarly, sensitivity can stem from bite misalignment. If the tooth filling’s size is bigger than the healthy teeth, you could develop an incorrect bite, causing pain when chewing or biting. Your dentist can remedy the situation by trimming the large filling to the size of other teeth.

    Furthermore, the sensitivity you are experiencing could be due to pulpitis, which refers to the swelling of the pulp. The sensitivity is common among patients with multiple fillings. If the nerves are damaged during the filling installation, you will need root canal therapy to reverse the condition.

    Do not avoid dental fillings because you are afraid of pain and sensitivity. You can manage these through the following:

    Sensitivity can be due to other reasons, like a tooth abscess or gum disease. Therefore, if the complication persists after a filling and you have a fever or toothache, you should schedule another visit for a thorough examination.

    Allergic Reactions

    Some dental patients are sensitive to some materials used in tooth fillings, like amalgam. The allergy appears in the form of skin rashes.

    Composite or white fillings can also trigger allergic reactions in some patients, although these cases are sporadic. You should talk to your dentist about allergies, and if they confirm these fillings trigger allergies, they will remove them and install biocompatible fillings.

    Allergic reactions can start immediately after the installation or later. At The Lakewood Dentist, we eliminate the uncertainty by conducting a blood compatibility test and finding filling material that will cause the least allergic reaction to your teeth.

    Allergic reactions could also stem from the local anesthetic used during the installation. Symptoms of these allergies include dizziness, coughs, hives, itchy skin, low blood pressure, and nervousness. Some symptoms, like shock, cardiac arrest, severe low blood pressure, severe shortness of breath, or respiratory failure, can be life-threatening. So, if you have had an allergic reaction to anesthesia in the past, talk to your dentist about it so that they can watch out for allergic reactions.

    Find a Competent General Dentistry Service Near Me

    Do you need dental cavity fillings?

    You risk developing cavities even with the correct oral hygiene and regular dental evaluations. If you have tooth decay or cavities, you need the expertise and experience of a promising general dentistry service like The Lakewood Dentist to install a filling and save the tooth. If you delay without seeking treatment, the problem could spread, causing tooth loss. Call us today at 562-423-1441 to arrange a meeting.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!