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Dental Fillings Charleston, SC

Dental FillingsAn Overview

Chances are you will experience a dental filling at some point in your life. Dental fillings are an important part of maintaining and restoring your natural tooth for the long run. They can address tooth decay, cavities, and minor tooth damage.

Fillings are fairly routine and, with the latest in dental technology, are not as painful. If you have decay or a damaged tooth, it is important to have it treated with a filling as soon as possible. If ignored, the compromised tooth may get worse and need a root canal or even extraction.

At West Ashley Family Dentistry, we place high-quality composite resin and porcelain dental fillings in our Charleston dentist office to restore the health and integrity of your tooth with natural-looking results. We can also replace old, dark fillings with new white fillings for a smile makeover that will improve long-term oral health.

Composite Resin Fillings
Composite fillings are resin and plastic materials and are the most popular choice for dental fillings. This is because we color-match them to blend in with your natural teeth and they’re not as obvious as a metal filling. The downside is they do not last as long. You’ll need to replace them in about five years, although they can last longer if cared for properly.

Porcelain Fillings
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain, a durable and aesthetically appealing material. Even though they are more expensive than most other filling options, they are also tooth-colored and very stain-resistant. These are typically referred to as inlays or onlays and are used when the damage or decay is more significant.


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Dental Fillings What to Expect

The dental filling procedure is generally quick and produces minimal discomfort. If you experience dental anxiety, we can discuss the use of dental sedation for your treatment to make it relaxing and pain-free.

One of your Charleston dentists numbs the area around the tooth being treated. Once you are comfortable, we will begin removing the decay from the tooth. We thoroughly clean the area for the best results.

We place the filling material after preparing the surface of the tooth. The dentist sculpts the composite material to create a natural look and feel, blending with your tooth and smile.

The final step is to permanently cure the filling with a special light and polish it for a natural luster. The result is a tooth that has restored strength and protection from future damage or decay.

Inlays and Onlays

For decay affecting a significant portion of the tooth or a larger tooth, we may recommend the use of an inlay or onlay. Also known as a “partial crown”, these two indirect restorations can strengthen and preserve your natural tooth with beautiful results.

Inlays and onlays are high-quality ceramic materials such as porcelain for long-lasting results. Using E4D technology, we can place your inlay or onlay during a single visit.

Dental Fillings FAQs

How many fillings will a dentist do at once?

Dentists can do multiple fillings in one sitting if there are multiple cavities. Oftentimes if multiple cavities are in the same area they will fill them all in the same appointment. The general rule of thumb is 3 fillings in a single appointment.

How long do cavity fillings take?

Filling one cavity takes about 10-30 minutes. The amount of time it takes to fill a cavity is dependent on the size, placement, and severity of the cavity. Expect a dental appointment to take up to an hour if it’s for a dental filling.

Can I drink or eat directly after a filling?

Dentists recommend that patients wait at least 2-3 hours after having a filling to eat or drink anything. The filling hardens as soon as the dentist cures it with a UV light. However, we recommend taking some time to ensure it hardens completely.

Should I use a straw after a filling?

You should avoid using a straw, or any sucking motion after almost any dental procedure, including fillings. Any straw or bacteria in the air that may come in contact with a recently opened spot may cause an infection.