Your dentist in the Bronx, open on Saturday, uses dental fillings to repair the damage from decay. You can get a safe mercury filling amalgam or porcelain filling. Do fillings hurt? With a local anesthetic, you’ll feel no cavity-filling pain, and only rarely will you experience pain after a tooth filling. Sensitivity after a filling subsides after a few days. So, tooth-filling pain is temporary, while tooth pain from a cavity only gets worse.

Dental fillings restore damaged teeth to their original shape and function. When you have a cavity, your dentist (open on Saturday) removes the decayed material from the tooth with a dental drill. Once the area is clear of debris, and clean and free of bacteria, the next step is to fill the hole with a filling material.

A filling, once in place, prevents cavities and further decay. It replaces the enamel that was eaten away. Common materials used for dental fillings include gold, composite resin and amalgam — an alloy of mercury filling, along with silver, copper, tin and zinc. You can also get a porcelain filling.

Pros and Cons of Tooth Filling Materials

Why do dental fillings come in a variety of materials? There isn’t one kind that’s right for everyone. Your family dentist in the Bronx can help you determine what’s best for you, depending on the location of your tooth, any allergies you have, your preference and the cost for the procedure.

Consider the pros and cons of each material:

  • Gold fillings. Gold inlays are ideal for most gum problems. They last up to 20 years. These dental fillings are made to order and cemented in place, but the process requires multiple visits. Gold is also the most expensive option.
  • Composite resin fillings. Composite resin can be color-matched to your natural teeth, making them unnoticeable. The resin contains a composite plastic that’s placed directly into your cavity and molded to fit. These dental fillings last three to 10 years, but they can chip, break or stain.
  • Porcelain fillings. This filling material is made in a lab and bonded to your tooth. The cost for a porcelain filling is about the same as a gold filling, and they can last just as long. Like resin, it can be matched to the natural color of the tooth, and porcelain resists staining.
  • Amalgam fillings. Other than gold, these are the most noticeable fillings, so they aren’t used in visible areas. Since they’re durable, they’re used for back teeth, where the bite pressure is greatest. Don’t worry about mercury fillings; they’re safe, having been used for more than 150 years. Amalgam is inexpensive and lasts 12 to 15 years.

Do Fillings Hurt?

The short answer is: getting a filling doesn’t hurt. Your dentist (open on Sunday by appointment) delivers the local anesthetic painlessly, so you won’t feel any cavity-filling pain, although you may feel the pressure as your dentist works. Depending on the number of dental fillings you need, you spend between 30 minutes and an hour in the dentist chair, including time for X-rays. For each cavity, your Bronx dentist:

  1. Removes all the decay from the tooth, leaving as much of your natural tooth as possible
  2. Cleans the hole of debris and bacteria
  3. Either packs the filling material — such as mercury filling or composite resin filling — into the cavity or takes a mold of your teeth to have the filling molded in a lab, in the case of a gold or porcelain filling
  4. Hardens the composite resin with a blue light, if applicable
  5. Provides you with a temporary filling, if applicable

At no point during the procedure do you feel cavity-filling pain. And after the filling is in place, you should no longer feel the tooth pain that drove you to the dentist in the first place.

For Severe Cavities

If your cavity is too large for a filling, your dentist (open on Saturday) may recommend a dental crown. The disadvantage of a dental crown is that more of your natural tooth has to be removed to accommodate the crown. But it does protect the tooth when in place. You also may need a root canal before getting a crown.

Other options include dental veneers, or dental bonding. But dental fillings remain the go-to treatment option for cavities.

Recovering from a Filling

After your cavity is filled, your dentist in the Bronx discusses any aftercare steps to prevent decay from returning. If you continue a healthy dental hygiene regimen of brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and keeping your bi-annual dentist checkup and cleaning appointments, you shouldn’t have to worry about more cavities. It’s also advised that you limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

If you feel pain after a tooth filling, it shouldn’t last more than 24 hours. Likewise, any sensitivity after a filling that occurs normally doesn’t last more than several days. If you do experience pain, sensitivity, bleeding or swelling longer than normal, contact your dentist for a follow-up appointment. Tooth-filling pain is rare.

Do you have any questions about cavity filling or composite filling in the Bronx NYC? For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Bronx cosmetic dentists, please contact our advanced dental clinic in the Bronx for a consultation.