Tooth Fillings

Family Dentist in Florissant, MO

Girl smiling at her dentist appointment

At the office of Dr. Paul S. Herrin, we are committed to the long term dental health of our patients. Dr. Herrin and our highly-trained team of treatment specialist work hard to provide superlative dental care to patients throughout the Florissant, MO area. We take a holistic approach to maintaining dental health through preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments. We understand that problems like dental decay and cavities can sometimes occur – and when they do, dental fillings are an effective and convenient form of treatment.

Dental fillings are restorative dental procedures used to treat cavities and repair a tooth that has suffered decay. It's a fairly simple, straightforward, and routine procedure, and modern dental fillings provide a strong, sturdy, and long-lasting way to repair damage from cavities and decay. The filling is essentially just what it sounds like – it involves using a dental filler material to fill in the hole created by a cavity, then shaping the filling to match the natural shape of the tooth.

Types of Dental Fillings

Different materials have been used for dental fillings, and we offer a variety of filling options for our patients depending on their needs or personal preference. Dr. Herrin may opt for any of the following types of fillings:

  • Composite (White) Fillings: The most modern option, these fillings are made from a composite of several different materials and resins. Composite fillings offer an economical, effective, and aesthetically appealing option for fillings, as we can custom-make the filling to match the color of your natural teeth.
  • Silver Amalgam Fillings: Once the most popular form of dental fillings, silver amalgam isn't used as frequently as it used to be. That said, silver fillings are strong, long-lasting, and very resistant to wear, making them a great option for longevity – but because of their dark color, they're more notable than other filling options.
  • Gold Fillings: Gold fillings are among the most long-lasting available, often lasting more than 20 years. While gold fillings are the sturdiest and most long-lasting, they're also the most expensive option, and their color makes them fairly visible in the mouth.
  • Porcelain Fillings: Porcelain fillings are made in a lab to match the exact shape of your cavity and then cemented into place on the tooth. Similar to composite fillings, porcelain can be color-matched to your natural tooth color and is resistant to staining from dark liquids and foods. All of that said, porcelain fillings cost around as much as gold fillings, making them an effective but expensive option.

The Filling Procedure

Placing a dental filling is a simple, routine procedure, and in almost all cases it takes only one visit. While the procedure may vary depending on the patient and the complexity of the case, it generally begins with the use of local anesthetic to numb your mouth to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Once the anesthetic takes hold, our Florissant dentist may opt to use a dental dam to helps keep the tooth separated from your other teeth and a bite block to keep the area dry during the procedure. When the dam and bite block are in place, Dr. Herrin will carefully remove all of the infected tissue from the tooth. After removing the decay, he'll apply an antibiotic to ensure the tooth is sterile and to prepare it for the filling. For porcelain or gold fillings, this involves laying the inlay onto the tooth and fixing it in place using a special dental cement. For composite or amalgam fillings, he'll actively apply and shape the material to fill in the cavity. After the filling has been placed, you may need to wait a short time for the filling to set completely – but once that's done, the procedure is finished!

It's normal to experience some soreness or sensitivity around the filling for the first few days after the procedure. You may opt to use an over the counter pain medication like Tylenol to manage the pain, but generally, the discomfort fades quickly. If soreness persists or you only feel pain when you bite down, let us know and schedule an appointment to check and make sure that the filling has set properly.

Contact Your Florissant, MO Dentist

Fillings are a highly effective way to treat cavities and tooth decay, and if you're worried you may have a cavity or have a persistent toothache, it may be time for you to get a filling. Feel free to call us at (314) 921-0070 if you have any questions about the fillings procedure, or if you'd like a dental examination to see if you need a filling, you may request one using our easy online form. We hope to hear from you soon!


  • PAUL S. HERRIN, D.D.S. - 395 Derhake Rd., Florissant, MO 63031 Phone: 314-921-0070 Fax: 314-921-7506

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