about dental fillings

At Desert Smiles, Dr. Nathan Tenney and our staff are proud to use the latest advanced techniques and technologies to provide you with the highest quality cosmetic dental care. When you’re in need of restorations like dental fillings to correct cavities or tooth decay, you can have peace of mind that you’re getting the best personalized care for your oral health. Offering options such as porcelain fillings, tooth-colored composite resin fillings, and white composite fillings, we’ll work to help you regain your beautiful smile.

If you’re interested in learning more about the dental fillings we offer at Desert Smiles, contact our office at {tel} to schedule an appointment today. We happily serve the areas of Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Peoria, Arizona.


tooth colored fillings

tooth colored fillings in glendale

The most popular dental filling choices for addressing cavities and tooth decay are porcelain and composite resin fillings. In recent years, a fundamental shift has occurred in the material used for fillings. Metal fillings, which contain mercury, were the standard treatment for treating tooth decay for decades. After numerous studies showed that even small percentages of mercury could be harmful if inhaled or ingested, we at Desert Smiles decided to move away from silver amalgam/mercury fillings and offer our patients alternatives for their oral care.

Tooth-colored fillings that use porcelain or a composite resin material provide lasting results and are a safe alternative to metal fillings. They also offer numerous benefits for when you need a restoration to fix cavities and tooth decay. These benefits include:

  • Tooth colored to match existing teeth
  • Natural looking
  • Bonds well to tooth enamel
  • Seals tooth better than metal fillings
  • Mercury free
  • Less vulnerable to leaking or breaking as metal fillings
  • Strengthens teeth when bonded
  • Requires less tooth structure to adhere, leaving more of your natural tooth
  • Easily repaired

We love being able to restore our patient’s smiles so that they can look and feel their best. For examples of our restoration results, take a look at our before and after images from our patients.


What are the disadvantages of Dental Fillings?

Every type of dental filling has certain advantages and disadvantages.

Amalgam (Silver) Fillings

Amalgam has been the most common filling material for many decades. It came into favor over 150 years ago when dentists needed an affordable alternative to gold fillings. In recent years, many dentists have phased amalgam out of their practices. The advantages of these fillings were that they were inexpensive and strong. However, silver fillings turn dark over time, becoming noticeable even at the back of the mouth. Amalgam also contains mercury, an element that could have negative health effects. Finally, while they are strong, amalgam fillings are associated with cracks and fractures in teeth after many years.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are made of a resin material that is composed of acrylic and glass. The advantages of this type of filling are that they blend in with natural enamel and they are fitted directly into the tooth during a single visit. Finally, composite does not expand and contract, so is not associated with tooth fractures. The disadvantage of the composite filling is that it is not as strong as a metal one. Composite fillings may need to be replaced after several years.

Porcelain or Ceramic Fillings

Porcelain and ceramic fillings are also made to mimic tooth enamel. They blend in and are complementary to a natural looking smile. A disadvantage of this type of filling is that they may require two visits, one for preparing and one for bonding the filling in the tooth. The price point of porcelain is typically also higher than other materials.

To achieve optimal outcomes, we offer tooth-colored composite and porcelain fillings.

Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings in Glendale and Phoenix, AZ


Who is a candidate for Dental Fillings?

Any person with a cavity may need a dental filling. Some cavities, if not treated right away, can cause more extensive damage. In such cases, a filling may not adequately repair the damage. The dentist may recommend an inlay, onlay, or crown.


How is a Dental Filling procedure performed?

The dental filling procedure begins with an application of local anesthetic. The dentist may place some numbing gel on the gums for a few minutes, then administer injections of an anesthetic to numb the nerves around the tooth. This prevents discomfort for the duration of the procedure. Next, the dentist isolates the tooth to maintain a dry working surface. A small instrument is used to remove the infected part of the tooth. The filling material is inserted, cured, and polished one layer at a time until the desired shape and structural integrity is achieved. In some cases, two visits are needed to complete the filling process. Porcelain fillings may be custom made similar to how crowns are made in a dental lab. The filling is subsequently bonded to the tooth.


Are Dental Fillings covered by insurance?

Yes. Dental insurance typically provides some degree of coverage for dental fillings. The cost-assistance varies from one insurance company to another. To determine your specific coverage benefits, contact your carrier directly.

Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings in Glendale and Phoenix, AZ


How long does a dental filling procedure take?

The filling procedure can take about 20 minutes. Patients may be in the office for 45 minutes to an hour due to the short time it takes for the local anesthetic to work.


Are Dental Fillings painful?

We are committed to patient comfort and effective care. Studies suggest that the more comfortable a patient is, the easier it is for a dentist to work efficiently. Patients are given a local anesthetic before getting a dental filling. Dentists often also apply a numbing gel to the gums for a few minutes before administering injections of lidocaine. Additionally, at Desert Smiles, sedation using nitrous oxide may be used to improve a patient’s experience. This type of sedation is appropriate even for children.


How soon can I eat after a filling?

Tooth colored fillings are cured as they are applied. Because they are not soft, like amalgam fillings, after placement, patients may eat right away. However, we advise patients to wait until the numbness has completely resolved before eating to prevent accidentally biting the lip or cheek.


glendale dental filling specialist

At Desert Smiles our drive is to create attractive, healthy smiles for all of our patients. Our passion and commitment, as well as our use of advanced technology and equipment, allows us to focus on your specific dental health needs and produce quality results.

If you’re in need of dental fillings to restore your teeth, contact us today at {tel} to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve all those who live in and near the areas of Glendale, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Peoria, Arizona.

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