Dental Fillings in Portland, Maine
Dental Wellness of Portland is happy to be your downtown Portland family dentistry practice of choice for dental fillings. We use industry-standard, high-quality filling products that can keep your teeth safe from worsening cavities for at least 5 years. Plus, if a filling we provide fails prematurely (in less than 3 years) despite regular dental care, we will replace it within three years of the original filling, free of charge.
What You Need to Know About Dental Fillings?
While we all know what fillings are to some extent, few of us have a thorough understanding of what fillings are made of, how the process works, and why they’re so commonly needed. We want to make sure our patients are comfortable with all this information before they get their fillings.
How Do You Know If You Need a Filling?
Fillings are used to deal with cavities, which are decayed sections of tooth enamel. Cavities occur due to acids excreted by bacteria that live in your mouth. The acid erodes the enamel of your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth are triggered to release acid most acutely when you consume sugar. This is why sweets and candy are so bad for your teeth!
As acid erodes your enamel, it can lead to permanent damage. This permanent damage is what we term a cavity and what we are rectifying when we apply a filling. With diligent dental care, both at home and at your 6-month appointments, most cavities can be prevented from reaching a stage where fillings are necessary.
What Types of Fillings Are Available?
There are several types of fillings available within the dental industry, but we rely on Filltek Supreme, a well-regarded enamel-like filling, often considered the gold standard for composite fillings. Other filling types are available, but we choose Filltek Supreme because it’s a realistic enamel replacement, unlike alternatives such as gold or silver amalgam. There’s also evidence that silver amalgam fillings release mercury vapor over time. For the health and peace of mind of our patients, we choose the non-toxic, versatile composite option.
What To Expect When You Get a Filling
There are several steps involved in applying a filling properly. Here is what you can expect when you get a filling.
- A local anesthetic to numb the section of tooth we’ll be working on
- Next, based on X-rays and visual inspection, we will abrade the tooth to remove decayed tissue that can’t recover and provide a better surface area for the filling
- We’ll clean out the abraded cavity to ensure the long-term health of the tooth
- We’ll then put in the filling, then polish and cure it in place in layers
- Last, we’ll trim any excess and provide a final polish
Taking Care of Your Fillings
The best way to maintain a filling is to perform the same oral hygiene tasks that would help prevent a cavity from forming: Thorough brushing after meals, daily flossing, and an antiseptic mouthwash. Following these basic steps should ensure a long-lasting and healthy filling.
If a filling is damaged, you might feel a sharp spot where a filling has cracked. If you do, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We can determine if the filling has been compromised and needs to be replaced with a simple x-ray.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can you eat after leaving?
While your filling can handle food by the time you have left your appointment, we suggest you wait until you have regained full feeling in your mouth. Due to the numbing agent used when filling cavities, there’s a risk you might bite your tongue or the side of your mouth and not realize it, causing damage to these important and sensitive tissues. This is especially risky for younger patients, who are often less well coordinated.
How long the numbing agent takes to wear off varies between individuals. You might be all set after half an hour, or you may need to wait a few hours, depending on your sensitivity to the numbing agent and how quickly your body metabolizes it. Err on the side of caution, and if it’s taking longer, but you’re terribly hungry, or you need to balance your blood sugar, use some kind of liquid nutrition, such as a protein shake or juice, to avoid the risk of biting down on your mouth’s soft tissues.
What brand of filling does Dental Wellness of Portland use?
At Dental Wellness of Portland, we use industry-standard Filtek Supreme for fillings.
Is there a warranty on fillings?
While there is no official warranty on fillings, we provide replacement fillings for free within 3 years of the original filling to patients who got their fillings with us and have maintained regular care (6-month appointments).
Insurance Coverage We Accept
- Delta Dental
- Anthem BC/BS
If You Don’t Have Dental Insurance
If you or your family members don’t have dental insurance, we do accept out-of-pocket patients. That said, we also participate in the Kleer Dental Discount program (which you can sign up for here) to save our uninsured patients some of the high costs of paying out-of-pocket and keep smiling. Curious about the Kleer Dental Discount program? With this annual membership, you’ll get 2 cleanings and 2 exams, plus a 20% discount on office fees. Watch the video below for more information about the program and how it works.