Dental Fillings An Overview

Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures performed in our Simpsonville dental office. Dr. O’Malley may recommend a dental filling for addressing tooth decay, minor damage or minor tooth imperfections. A dental filling can serve an important role in the long-term, halting disease progression in the case of tooth decay, and supporting the integrity of tooth function.

Routine dental care is often the key to avoiding complex dental concerns. Regular visits give Dr. O’Malley and our dental team an opportunity to spot common concerns in the early stages of development. This allows a dental filling to successfully stabilize your dental health and minimizes the risk of tooth damage, or tooth loss. Dental fillings are completed in one visit. You will be offered  a local anesthetic for your comfort. If you suffer from dental anxiety and need one or more dental fillings, Dr. O’Malley can discuss dental sedation options before your treatment.

Types of Dental Fillings

Dr. O’Malley will discuss different options. He often recommends a composite resin, or “white” filling, for the most natural-looking result. Other options include:

  • Resin modified glass ionomer (RMGI): glass ionomers consist of a polyacrylic material that is highly impenetrable. RMGI fillings have resin added, for improved strength and durability.
  • Amalgam: known as “silver fillings”, amalgam has been the traditional filling material for many years due to its relative strength and economical cost.

Choosing the right filling material is dependent upon the location and size of the filling, and your cosmetic goals.


Dental Fillings What to Expect

A dental filling is a relatively simple procedure, completed during a single visit. After cleaning the area and applying a topical anesthetic, we will gently remove any decay present and clean out the affected area. The chosen filling material will be sculpted into place and then sealed to prevent future infection.

The final step is to polish the new surface for a smooth texture and comfortable bite.

How do I know if I need a filling?

In most cases, our team will spot the signs of decay during a visual exam or on an x-ray. Other common symptoms of a tooth cavity can include tooth pain, increased sensitivity, or redness at the gum line. Left untreated, tooth decay can continue to damage the tooth, and may lead to tooth loss.