Gentle Dental

Porcelain Fillings | Tooth Cavity Filling

Porcelain fillings are virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth material and provide a stronger, potentially safer alternative to traditional metal fillings.

Cosmetic fillings

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Learn about modern porcelain fillings

Because they are virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth material and provide a stronger, potentially safer alternative to traditional metal fillings, Gentle Dental is committed to using tooth-colored porcelain fillings to restore teeth damaged by cavities or trauma.

Even with good oral care, many people have one or more dental fillings, an issue that is often due to dietary habits. Other times, a tooth is damaged because of trauma, for example, a sporting accident that can badly chip a tooth. Placing a dental filling restores the appearance of the tooth, replacing lost structure and ensuring the tooth has enough strength to withstand biting and chewing.

“Virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth material, stronger and safer alternative to traditional metal fillings.”

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Tooth Filled?

Without restorative treatment, tooth decay can progress and may lead to further treatment, such as root canal therapy. When tooth decay is severe, you may need a dental crown to protect the treated tooth. In the worst-case severe tooth decay can cause tooth loss.

How Do I Know If I Need a Tooth Filling?

During your regular checkups, we carefully assess all your teeth for early signs of decay. We can detect small lesions and tiny cavities before they begin to cause you discomfort or pain. Regular digital x-rays detect signs of decay in areas hidden from view, such as the contact areas between your teeth.Sometimes when a lesion is very small, you might not even need a filling to correct it. We may be able to harden the tooth with fluoride. Other times, we may choose to monitor signs of an early lesion and can suggest ways to prevent it from worsening.

If we do find a cavity that needs treatment, we can recommend a suitable cosmetic dentistry procedure to restore the tooth. The filling suggested will depend on the location of the tooth, the size of the cavity, and your preferences.

There are several types of tooth fillings which include:

  • Tooth-colored composite resin fillings
  • Dental inlay or onlay
  • Amalgam fillings

What Is a Composite Filling?

Composite resin fillings are virtually invisible in the mouth and blend in with your natural teeth. They are ideal if you need a front tooth filling and are cost-effective and quick to place. Composite resin is a good solution for a front tooth cavity filling or can be used to mend a severe crack or chip in a front tooth during a process called dental bonding.Composite resin fillings can also restore back teeth, mending small to medium-sized cavities. A composite resin filling is durable and should last several years before you need to consider replacing it. Composite resin is biomimetic, meaning it mimics natural tooth structure, so it is also a very healthy way to restore a tooth. The material doesn’t flex or change shape when it contacts hot or cold food or beverages.

What Is the Procedure for Having a Composite Filling?

We place composite resin fillings during a single visit, and first, we numb the tooth to ensure you feel comfortable during the entire procedure. Our dentist will carefully remove the damaged portion of the tooth only, shaping the tooth to receive the filling.The cavity is thoroughly cleaned and dried before we begin placing the composite resin, using a shade chosen to match your tooth closely. We place the resin in tiny increments, regularly hardening the filling material. Once all the material is in place, our dentist will shape and polish the filling. You will be able to use the tooth safely as soon as the anesthetic wears off.

What Are The Types of Porcelain Fillings?

There are two basic types of porcelain fillings, inlays and onlays, which are also known as “indirect” fillings. Both types are painstakingly crafted to fit precisely in the space from which damaged tooth structure has been removed. The primary difference between inlays and onlays is that the former is crafted to fit inside an area of decay while the latter is laid atop the tooth, covering its cusps. The porcelain used in either restoration is strong enough to preserve the health of your remaining tooth while maintaining the appearance of your smile.A dental inlay or onlay is made from porcelain; a porcelain inlay or onlay is virtually invisible, and modern porcelain is extremely strong and durable. These dental fillings can look beautiful. Alternatively, an inlay or onlay may be made from high-quality precious metal alloy polished to a soft sheen.

What is a Dental Inlay?

A dental inlay is suitable for restoring large areas of decay in the chewing surface of a back tooth. It replaces the inner part of this chewing surface.

What Is a Dental Onlay?

A dental onlay is similar to an inlay but is slightly larger. It can replace the damaged chewing surface and one or more tooth cusps (a cusp is the point of a tooth that you can see on the inner and outer edges of back teeth).

What Is the Procedure for Having a Dental Inlay or Onlay?

A dental inlay or onlay is what’s called an indirect filling, meaning it’s made outside your mouth. The process for preparing your tooth is the same as for an ordinary filling, but we must take a dental impression of the prepared cavity. The impression is sent to our dental lab so they can handcraft your inlay or onlay to our exact prescription.While the restoration is made, we protect your tooth with a temporary filling. The temporary filling is a little more fragile, so it’s best not to use it for chewing very hard or sticky foods that could damage or dislodge it. At your next visit, we remove the temporary filling and try in your new inlay or onlay. Once we are satisfied with the fit, we permanently bond it onto the tooth.

What is a Amalgam Filling?

Amalgam fillings have been used for a very long time and are hard-wearing and long-lasting. However, they are less widely used nowadays because of the introduction of newer materials like composite resin and porcelain fillings. Amalgam fillings are silver-colored, but they can darken over time and are highly visible in the mouth. Also, some people are concerned about the mercury content of amalgam.Another issue with amalgam is that it is not a biomimetic material and can flex and expand and contract when in contact with hot and cold beverages. These micro-movements can eventually create tiny cracks in a tooth, weakening the overall structure. These filings are only suitable for restoring less visible back teeth.

What Is the Procedure for an Amalgam Filling?

To prepare your tooth for an amalgam filling, we first numb the tooth and carefully remove all the damaged portion. With an amalgam, it is necessary to remove a little more tooth structure compared with a composite resin filling. Once the cavity is shaped, we place the amalgam material, harden, shape, and polish it.

How to Remove Amalgam Filling?

If you currently have some amalgam fillings, we can assess the condition to determine if they need replacing. All fillings need replacing periodically, and over time amalgam can begin to leak and crumble. We can also discuss removing amalgam if you are concerned about the appearance of your teeth and would prefer something less visible.When removing amalgam, we take additional precautions to keep you and our dental team safe. These include high-quality filtration to remove any mercury vapor, and proper amalgam disposal to prevent harming the environment.

What to Expect After Having a Tooth Filling?

Initially, you must avoid eating or drinking hot beverages until your mouth is no longer numb as otherwise, you could bite your cheek or scald your mouth. It can take several days for a new filling to settle down completely. Initially, the tooth may feel a bit more sensitive than normal, and you might notice the gum around the tooth is slightly swollen.

Our dentists at Gentle Dental can discuss all the tooth cavity filling options suitable for your situation and will explain the possible pros and cons of Inlays / Onlays and the difference in costs. As with any treatment we provide, we make sure you have all the information necessary for an informed treatment choice. Whichever filling option you choose, you are assured of receiving a dental filling that is beautiful, yet fully functional and durable. For more information about the cavity fillings in Queens, contact Gentle Dental at (718) 461-0100.


  • Barbara Lightsy “made sure that I was comfortable” ★★★★★

    It was time for a cleaning and all went well. The dental tech knew what she was doing and made sure that I was comfortable with all that she was doing. I don’t like going to the dentist but I don’t mind going to Gentle Dental , on Francis Lewis Blvd, because of the care that I get there.

  • Lisa Lilienthal “excellent customer service” ★★★★★

    Friendly staff excellent customer service and very clean facility!!!! I was very impressed. Excellent treatments I my dentist he’s the BEST professional knows his stuff and gentle. Thank you everyone including the Gentle Dental staff it’s a great place.

  • rosenellie bayron “best place ever!” ★★★★★

    Honestly the best place ever! Clean, friendly, knowledgeable. From the desk, to the assistants, dentist. From start to finish they are one point. I cannot say one bad thing about them. The renovation looks fantastic. Thank you team Gentle Dental.

  • Jeanelle Andrews “pleased with my first visit” ★★★★★

    I have now found my new general dentist office. I am overly pleased with my first visit for service at their office. The office itself is nicely renovated which screams cleanliness and organization. Every staff encounter was pleasant; they’re all so kind and respectful! I’ve already began recommending family members to check them out.

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