Dental fillings in Monahan Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are a common way to treat cavities, which are areas of decaying teeth that become small holes. During a filling, your dentist fills these holes with a substance, such as an amalgam or composite. While this is a simple, routine procedure, it leaves many people with sensitive teeth afterward. Cavity fillings are used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay. The most common type of filling is made from a material called amalgam, which is a mixture of metals such as silver, tin, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable, but they can be noticeable because of their silver color. Other fillings include composite (tooth-colored) fillings, gold fillings, and porcelain (ceramic) fillings.
Composite and porcelain fillings are usually more expensive than amalgam fillings but can match them to the color of your teeth, making them less noticeable. Gold fillings are also used, but usually in back teeth because they are costly. If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth material and place the filling in the hole. The filling material is placed in the cavity in layers, and each layer is hardened with a special light before the next layer is added. After the filling is in place, your dentist will check to make sure it is the right size and shape. Then, he or she will polish the filling so that it is smooth. You may feel some sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for a short time after the filling is placed. This is normal and should go away within a few days.