When Do You Need a Dental Filling?

Dental Filling Dentist East Grand Rapids MI

It’s never a good idea to ignore a painful tooth. If you’re experiencing dental pain or discomfort, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with our dentist in East Grand Rapids, MI, right away. During your emergency visit, Dr. Elias will be able to determine if you’re a candidate for a dental filling or other restorative care.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about fillings and their role in treating cavities.


The need for a tooth filling typically begins with a diagnosis by our East Grand Rapids dentist. During your regular dental check-up, Dr. Elias will visually examine your teeth and may use X-rays to identify any cavities.

Common symptoms of a cavity include tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods, sharp pain when biting, visible holes or pits on the tooth’s surface, or discoloration. If our dentist detects a cavity, he will recommend a filling.

Determining the Type of Filling

There are several types of dental fillings, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are amalgam fillings (silver fillings) and composite fillings (tooth-colored fillings).

Amalgam fillings tend to be less expensive but are more noticeable due to their silver color. Composite resin fillings, on the other hand, blend in with your natural teeth.

Dr. Elias will discuss the options with you and help you choose the one that suits your needs best. We primarily offer composite fillings but are ready to accommodate your needs should you require amalgam ones instead.

The Filling Procedure

The dental filling procedure is a straightforward process. First, our dentist will numb the area surrounding the affected tooth to ensure you’re comfortable during the procedure. Then, he will remove the decayed portion of the tooth.

Once the decay is removed, our dentist will clean the area to eliminate any debris and bacteria. Afterward, the chosen filling material will be applied layer by layer, and each layer will be hardened using a special light. Our dentist will shape and polish the filling to ensure it matches the contour of your natural tooth.

Post-Filling Care

After the dental filling is placed, you may experience some mild sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for a few days. This is normal and should subside. It’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, to prevent further decay and the need for additional fillings.

Routine dental check-ups are also crucial to monitor the condition of the filling and your overall oral health.

Replacing Old Fillings

Over time, dental fillings may wear down or become damaged. In such cases, our dentist may recommend replacing the filling to maintain the integrity of the tooth. It’s essential to follow our dentist’s advice and schedule regular check-ups to ensure your fillings are in good condition.

Preventing Cavities

The best way to avoid needing fillings is to know how to prevent cavities in the first place. This can be achieved through good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and the use of fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, a balanced diet low in sugary foods and professional teeth cleanings are essential for cavity prevention.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Elias

Do you suspect you may need a filling after reading our blog post? If so, there’s never been a better time to book an appointment with our dentist in East Grand Rapids, MI. To schedule your next visit, please call the dental office of Richard Elias III DDS at (616) 458-2048. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

We are delighted to welcome you to our practice!

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