Fillings

Say goodbye to the days of metal fillings and welcome in the age of modern, esthetic materials. At Smiles Elevated, we are a mercury-free practice! 

When you develop a cavity, we carefully remove the decayed area and restore the tooth with the highest quality tooth colored filling material. For larger cavities or perhaps a broken cusp, ceramic fillings may provide a more conservative option to full coverage crowns.

What Do I Need To Know Following The Placement Of My New Filling?

Our goal is to help our patients enjoy optimal oral health and to keep them well informed every step of the way.

Immediately after the placement of a new filling, it's essential to keep the following in mind:

  • Until the anesthesia wears off
    Immediately following your dental visit, you may experience a period of lingering numbness. Normal sensation typically returns within a few hours. However, until the anesthetic has completely worn off, it's essential to protect yourself from unintentionally biting or injuring your lips, cheeks, gums, or tongue. Be mindful of chewing, drinking hot beverages, or smoking.

  • Now that your tooth has been restored and rebuilt, it may feel slightly different
    While we take the utmost care to polish your new filling and make sure the bite is correct, on rare occasions, a patient may feel additional minor smoothing or further bite adjustment is required.

  • You may experience short-term sensitivity
    It's perfectly normal for a tooth to feel a little sensitive following the placement of a filling. You may experience a twinge when eating cold or hot foods and beverages. This sensitivity should subside by itself within a few days. If your sensitivity worsens, you experience ongoing pain or develop any other symptoms; please contact our office.

  • Caring for your new restoration
    Our office uses the latest generations of strong and durable filling materials. With proper oral hygiene and routine care, your new filling can last for many years to come. However, in cases of extensive tooth decay or injury to the underlying tooth, even the best restoration may need to be replaced, or further dental work may be needed down the road.

Post Operative Instructions

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold and pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a cavity to develop?

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Cavities develop because of an infectious process that causes progressive damage to tooth structure. Despite starting as a pinpoint defect on the outermost enamel layer of your tooth, untreated dental decay progressively compromises more and more healthy tooth structure as it works its way to the inner layers of your tooth.

Can I still get a cavity if my tooth already has a filling?

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Yes, you can still develop tooth decay on other surfaces of the tooth, around the margins of an old filling, or in fewer instances, recurrent decay underneath it. For this reason, it's essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene, a diet low in sugary beverages and sweets, and be sure to visit our office for routine checkups and care. While tooth decay is second only to the common cold in frequency, it's almost entirely preventable.

Is it possible to have more than one filling done at the same visit?

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We value the time and comfort of our patients. If cavities are located on adjacent teeth, or in the same section of your smile, it may be possible to treat more than one tooth during your visit. However, how much is done each visit depends on several factors. We keep our patients well informed and tailor every treatment plan and visit to address their unique needs.

Does it hurt to get a filling?

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Dental fillings are performed under local anesthesia to help ensure your comfort throughout the entire procedure. The involved tooth remains completely numb for the extent of your visit. Within one or two hours after the procedure is completed, the local anesthetic will gradually wear off, and normal sensations return.

When can I eat after my visit?

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A tooth-colored composite filling is fully hardened and set by the end of your visit. However, we may advise you to wait a couple of hours until the local anesthesia has completely worn off. This advice is to help ensure you don't accidentally bite your lip, cheek, or tongue while still numb.

How long do dental fillings last?

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The lifetime of a dental filling varies depending on the type of material used. While popular dental materials can last a decade or more with proper care, they can degrade over time, wear down, or even break. When this happens, you may experience some tooth sensitivity, a jagged edge, or a loose or dislodged piece of filling material. Whatever the case may be, it's essential to get the filling replaced before the tooth sustains further damage or other consequences arise. Beyond taking good care of your smile we can help ensure the longevity of your fillings, our office regularly checks the status of your existing fillings as part of a routine checkup exam.

How much do fillings cost?

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Dental fillings are an essential investment that serves to preserve and protect the health of your smile. With that said, how much a filling costs depends on the number of surfaces of the tooth involved and the filling material that is used. Amalgam restorations are the most economical. While tooth-colored composite fillings have a slightly higher cost, they offer the added benefits of being metal-free and much more aesthetically pleasing. Ceramic fillings, inlays, and onlays are more expensive than the preceding options but provide outstanding, long-lasting, and natural-looking results.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of getting a filling?

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Dental insurances typically cover the cost of dental fillings. While we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits, there may still be an out-of-pocket expense. At the office of Smiles Elevated, we strive to help you begin care without any additional financial stress or delay.

Office Hours

Monday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
7:45 AM - 4:30 PM

Contact Us

5530 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1535
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

(240) 465-9066

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