Fillings and Sealants
Tooth decay and cavities are common dental issues. Receiving a tooth-colored filling to restore your tooth helps prevent the problem from developing into something worse.
Tooth Fillings and Sealants
What is a tooth filling?
A filling is a simple restoration procedure primarily used to restore cavities or other mild decay or deterioration. Fillings are extremely common and have a high success rate. We offer options for composite fillings and amalgam fillings—both are safe. Which type we use depends on your needs, but we commonly use composite fillings because they are tooth-colored and appear more natural for teeth that are visible and easier for others to see or notice.
What are dental sealants?
Sealants are a thin coating that is painted on teeth to protect them from cavities, they are typically used in children, but can be used in adults as well. Sealants are a quick and affordable option to prevent cavities and tooth fillings. They can dramatically reduce the number of fillings placed in permanent teeth during critical stages of growth and development. On the chewing surface of molars, deep grooves reach into the center of the teeth. Under a microscope, these crevices might look like a deep canyon. In fact, most of them are narrower than a single toothbrush bristle but wide enough for bacteria to hide. It’s easy to see how cavities can form in such a perfect hideout. If the grooves in permanent molars are sealed at a young age, the risk of decay occurring on the chewing surfaces decreases dramatically.
How much does a tooth filling cost?
We aim to provide quality dental care that’s affordable for our patients. Tooth filling cost varies based on the type and number of fillings you need. Dental sealants have a standard price, listed below. Out of pocket cost for any procedure depends on your insurance coverage at the time of the procedure.
- Amalgam (Silver) Fillings: $165-$318
- Composite (White) Anterior Fillings: $190-$369
- Composite (White) Posterior Fillings: $207-$410
- Dental Sealants Cost: $70
How do cavity fillings work?
Cavity and tooth fillings are required because of deterioration of holes left in the tooth due to tooth decay. Left unchecked, the decay will continue to spread and damage the tooth. During the filling procedure dentists clean away the decay inside the cavity, usually with a drill to prevent further damage. But this doesn’t fix the damage that has already been created, so a filling is necessary. The intent of the filling is to replace the part of the tooth that is missing or destroyed by tooth decay. The dentist molds the filling to match the shape of the surrounding tooth, which restores the strength and integrity of the tooth and prevents further decay from happening.
Should I have tooth sensitivity after a filling?
When you get a filling, the area around the infected tooth is numbed by your dentist. As a result, you likely won’t feel anything for an hour or two after your appointment but once the numbing wears off it is typical to feel pain in your teeth and gums.
Pain is common when drinking or eating anything that is hot or cold. It is also common when you brush or floss near the infected tooth. Tender gums are also typical after getting a cavity filled.
Minimize Tooth Sensitivity
You can reduce the sensitivity in your teeth and gums by:
- Taking an anti-inflammatory drug like Advil or Motrin
- Temporarily avoiding hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages such as fruit, wine, and yogurt
- Brush and floss more gently
- Use a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive
Who qualifies for dental sealants?
Sealants are designed for healthy teeth that have yet to develop cavities. In most cases, they’re placed on permanent molars shortly after they come in (around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively). However, adults can choose to get sealants too. It may be that their childhood sealants came off or they’re starting to develop cavities in other teeth for the first time.
Investing in affordable dental sealants can help you prevent more extensive (and expensive) oral health treatments in the future.
What are you waiting for?
At Leominster Family Dentists, we believe in providing the best dental care at the most affordable prices. Make your next appointment using our easy online scheduling tool, contact our office if you have any questions, or explore all of the dental services we provide.