Have a Bad Tooth? Here Is the Tooth Filling Process

Ouch! You’re pretty sure you have a cavity, but you’re nervous about taking care of it. Without treatment, a cavity will lead to tooth pain and loss. The process of filling a cavity is designed to make you as comfortable as possible while saving your tooth from being lost to decay. Getting a dental filling may not be what you think.

Summit Dental Partners uses a more modern approach to dental fillings that treats tooth decay and looks great afterward. Knowing the tooth-filling process may make you more comfortable caring for that damaged tooth. If you’re looking for a tooth filling in Summit, NJ, here is how we do it!

What Is a Dental Filling? 

A dental filling is used to treat decay in a tooth, commonly called a cavity. A cavity forms when bacteria penetrate the enamel, the tooth’s protective outer layer. 

Once the bacteria bypass the tooth enamel, the tooth decay risks reaching the living pulp in the center of the tooth and killing the tooth. When this happens, the tooth becomes discolored and can fall out. The bacteria can also continue to cause damage, such as an abscess (infection) or gum disease. 

The best way to prevent tooth loss from tooth decay is to remove the decayed area and fill it with a material that will protect the tooth from further damage. This is a dental filling, and it’s important for your oral health. 

What Are the Types of Dental Fillings?

There are three types of dental fillings: amalgam (silver), glass ionomer, and composite resin. In the past, amalgam was the more popular option. While it worked fairly well, the silver color made the filling very obvious.

The silver material contains mercury. While silver fillings have been declared safe, they are not recommended for those sensitive to mercury, such as children and pregnant women.  

Glass ionomer fillings are made of powdered glass. They are sometimes infused with fluoride to help protect the tooth in the future. 

Summit Dental Partners uses composite material in its dental filling process. Our filling procedure involves matching the composite filling to the color of your tooth to make it look more natural. 

The resin is made of acrylic reinforced by a powdered glass filler. The combination creates a tooth filling that is much more difficult to see and strong enough to preserve the tooth for years. The material is safe and can be used even with small fillings.

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What Is the Tooth-Filling Process?

All three types of dental fillings use the same general tooth-filling procedure. The composite resin procedure is slightly more complicated because it uses a bonding agent and special light to harden the resin. However, the result is worth it because the filling will look like it’s just part of your natural tooth!

How are fillings done at Summit Dental Partners? We begin with a numbing agent to keep you from feeling any discomfort during the procedure. Most people do just fine with a local anesthetic. Let us know if you think you may need more than that. 

Once the tooth and surrounding area are numb, we clean and dry the tooth completely and isolate it to keep it dry throughout the process. 

Next, we remove any decay from the tooth. We want to be sure we get all of it, but we don’t remove more than necessary. Our goal is to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible. 

We then apply an etchant and bonding agent to make the composite resin stick better to the tooth. Then, we apply the composite resin, which we’ve created to match the color of your tooth. 

We then use a special light to harden the first layer of resin and apply the next layer. We continue this process until the cavity is filled. After that, we shape the resin to match your natural tooth and polish the chewing surface so it fits against the rest of your natural teeth when you bite or chew. 

Once we’re finished, your tooth will be as good as new!

How Do I Care for a Tooth After Filling?

Because of the local anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the tooth-filling process. Once that wears off, you may have some pain or discomfort. You can relieve this with over-the-counter pain medication. 

After the procedure, you can eat with the filling, but it’s better to wait until your mouth is no longer numb before you eat. You can eat anything, but your tooth may be sore for the first day or two. You may want to stick with softer foods for the first few days. 

Some people report their tooth being sensitive to hot or cold after getting a filling. This is normal and should disappear after a few days. 

There may be a couple of reasons why you would still have pain more than a week after a dental filling procedure. It’s possible the decay made it to the pulp, which would require a root canal. It’s also possible that the tooth isn’t fitting correctly with the other teeth. 

If your tooth continues to hurt, schedule an appointment with us. We will bring you in to ensure your tooth is still healthy, and we can repolish the tooth to make it fit with your other teeth and alleviate your discomfort. Your dental health is our priority.

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Teeth Filling in Summit, NJ

Tooth decay should be treated as soon as possible. The longer it goes untreated, the greater the chances it will severely damage or destroy your tooth. That can lead to the tooth falling out or requiring a tooth extraction. 

Do you need a dental filling in Summit, NJ? Schedule an appointment with Summit Dental Partners. We will happily walk you through the process so you feel as comfortable as possible!

Best Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Close Gaps in Teeth

Cosmetic dentistry closes gaps in teeth, a concern many people have. These gaps, called diastema, can be found anywhere in the mouth but are often found between the two front teeth. But why do you get these spaces between teeth? What’s the best way to fix gap front teeth?

While some people may embrace this unique feature, others may feel self-conscious about it. Cosmetic dentistry uses advanced techniques to safely and effectively close gaps in teeth, enhance a person’s smile, and boost self-confidence. 

Are Teeth Gaps Genetic?

What causes gaps in teeth? Small gaps have several causes, including genetics. If both parents have gaps in their front teeth, chances are the child will have gapped front teeth, too. 

Genetics are a common cause, but they aren’t the only one. Other causes include: 

    • Small or missing teeth can result in gaps in the front of the mouth. This occurs when the incisors, especially the lateral incisors (the teeth on either side of the front teeth), are either underdeveloped or completely missing. As a result, the surrounding teeth shift to fill the space, causing further gaps.
    • Thumb-sucking and pacifier use can have detrimental effects on teeth. These habits can distort the palate, push the jaw forward, and cause teeth to shift, resulting in gaps and misalignment.
    • A large frenulum refers to excessive tissue growth connecting the upper lip to the gums. This can result in a gap between the two front teeth.
    • A sudden gap between front teeth in adults? While not sudden, with age or habits like tongue thrust or nail biting, your teeth may begin to spread apart.

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Why Fix Gaps in Teeth?

Cosmetic dentistry not only beautifies the smile, but it can also significantly boost your self-confidence. Gap teeth can also harm oral health, making it harder to chew your food correctly. 

Gaps can sometimes affect a person’s ability to eat or speak properly. Larger gaps may cause food to become trapped, potentially leading to gum diseases or tooth decay. By addressing these gaps, individuals can improve their oral health and functionality and enhance their aesthetic appearance.

Using Cosmetic Dentistry to Close Spaces in the Teeth

There are several viable cosmetic treatments to fix a gap in teeth, each with its unique benefits. Your Summit Dental Partners dentist might suggest dental bonding, veneers, dental implants, braces, or Invisalign based on your needs. 

Different options have different costs, procedure times, and how long the results last, so there are choices for everyone.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a versatile and cost-effective procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the teeth. This resin is then shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth, providing a seamless and natural appearance. The procedure is relatively quick, often completed in a single visit, making it a popular choice for patients seeking immediate results.

Despite its affordability and speed, dental bonding does have limitations. The composite resin isn’t as durable as natural teeth and may stain or wear down over time. Therefore, dental bonding may require more frequent maintenance than other cosmetic dentistry treatments.


Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted from porcelain or composite resin that cover the front surfaces of the teeth. They offer a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing solution to fix gaps and other cosmetic dental issues like discoloration, chips, or misshapen teeth.

Porcelain veneers are renowned for their durability and resistance to staining, but they are more expensive than other treatments. Many people opt for veneers for their natural appearance and longevity despite the cost.

Braces or Invisalign

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry focused on correcting teeth and jaw alignment issues using devices such as braces or clear aligners. Traditional braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners like Invisalign are among the versatile options offered.

Each of these methods applies gentle pressure over time to move your teeth into the desired position, effectively closing any gaps. The duration of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the patient’s unique needs, but the result is a straighter, gap-free smile. 

While orthodontics is typically more time-consuming and expensive than other procedures, the outcomes are long-lasting and can significantly improve oral health.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges are prosthetic solutions typically used in restorative dentistry, but they can also play a significant role in resolving gaps between teeth. A crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” placed over a tooth to restore its size, shape, and strength and improve its appearance.

A bridge is used when one or more teeth are missing. It is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap — these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth — and a false tooth/teeth in between. Both crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants and can only be removed by a dentist.

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Choosing the Best Way to Close Your Gaps

Choosing the right procedure to close the gap in your teeth largely depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. We recommend discussing your goals and concerns with your Summit Dental Partners dentist.

We will examine your teeth, identify your needs, and recommend the best treatment option. Factors such as the size of the gap, your overall oral health, budget, and personal aesthetic desires should be considered. Ultimately, the best procedure for you should meet your expectations while ensuring long-term oral health and functionality.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Summit, NJ

Discover the transformative power of a gap-free smile at Summit Dental Partners. Our team of experienced dental professionals is committed to providing personalized, high-quality care to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Whether it’s dental bonding, veneers, orthodontics, or dental crowns and bridges, trust that we have the right solution for you.

Don’t just dream about perfect teeth — make it a reality. Request an appointment with Summit Dental Partners today and take the first step towards a confident, radiant smile.


What Is a Dental Crown? How They Can Help Broken Teeth

Do you have a broken or missing tooth? Broken or missing teeth can make it hard to chew your food properly, which could lead to digestive and nutritional issues. You may think you must live with broken or missing teeth, but Summit Dental Partners can repair your teeth with dental crowns.

What is a dental crown, what does a tooth crown look like, and why do you need a dental crown? A crown can restore your smile and make it easier for you to eat, which can help your overall health. Let us show you why dental crowns could be right for you!


Custom Abutment: Here’s What You Need To Know

Custom Abutment: Here’s What You Need To Know

The dental implant procedure has become one of the most reliable and popular restoration techniques for people who have lost teeth. Its convenience, longevity, and recent design advancements have made it a go-to option with impressive results.

Nevertheless, because dental implants require a certain amount of bone mass for successful placement in the mouth, restorative dentists may sometimes encounter difficulty inserting them, and two-piece or angled abutments are needed to compensate for unconventional implant positioning.

By utilizing computer-generated custom abutments, dentists can now provide their patients with greater accuracy and precision when it comes to the dental implant. These customized solutions can adjust even offset or tilted implants without compromising the anatomical shape. (more…)

Can Teeth Heal Themselves?

Can Teeth Heal Themselves?

Have you ever wondered if damaged teeth can heal themselves? Can a cracked tooth heal on its own? What about cavities? As people become increasingly interested in natural healing methods, we often hear questions like these. While it would be great if our teeth could simply repair themselves after sustaining damage, we can’t rely on natural remedies when it comes to dental health. This blog will explore whether or not a cracked tooth can heal without intervention and why you should always see your dentist if you have a concern.


Teeth Stains: What Are My Options?

Teeth Stains: What Are My Options?

Everyone wants beautiful white teeth, so it’s no surprise that new patients mention teeth stains as one of their top concerns. Not only do we tend to associate whiter teeth with attractiveness, but also with optimal oral health and oral hygiene. While it is important to remember that brown staining on teeth can be normal, many patients want to know, “Are my teeth permanently stained? How do I get rid of stained teeth?” At Summit Dental Partners, we are committed to helping our patients decrease this staining and brighten their smiles.

Stains on teeth can occur for a variety of reasons, including certain foods and drinks or habits like smoking and inadequate brushing. In this blog, we’re going to help you understand why teeth stains happen, how to protect your smile, and how to get rid of stains on teeth.


Cracked Teeth Symptoms: What They Are and How to Fix Them

Cracked Teeth Symptoms: What They Are and How to Fix Them

Broken teeth are easy to self-diagnose. If you break a tooth, you know it. You can see the remaining piece of the tooth, and chances are you can feel it. Ouch! Cracked teeth symptoms may be similar to broken teeth, but they can be a lot harder to see. Hairline cracks in the enamel can be so small that you can’t see them at all. Unfortunately, you may not know you have cracked teeth until the tooth’s interior becomes painful from infection. 

The team at Summit Dental Partners knows that while it’s easy to spot the symptoms, it’s not so easy to spot the cause. That’s why regular visits to the dentist are so important. But it’s also important to see the dentist if you suspect any problems with your teeth, like cracks. The first step is learning how to spot the symptoms of cracked teeth.