Dental Fillings
Arlington VA


Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a dental restoration that will restore the function and the integrity of a tooth. There are many dental procedures that can be used to treat tooth decay. One of the most popular forms of treatment is a dental filling. Fillings are so popular because it seems like so many people have them. It is difficult to find someone today who does not have at least one filling in their mouth. Over the years, however, the types of fillings have evolved, and it is now faster and easier to have a cavity treated at Cherrydale Family Dental than ever before.

The team at Cherrydale Family Dental is conscientious in our efforts in working with all members of your family, from infant to teenager to parents to grandparents. Patience is an admirable quality in our fast-paced society today. Our team finds enjoyment in healthy smiles of all ages. If you have any questions regarding a dental filling, simply call Cherrydale Family Dental at 703-243-8288. You can find us at 4399 Old Dominion Drive, Arlington, VA, 22312.



The Different Types of Dental Fillings Available

  • Metal Fillings

These are made from several different types of materials including amalgam. This is the silver filling material that most people are familiar with and expect to have placed in their cavities. Amalgam is made from a metal alloy containing mercury, silver, tin, and copper. This material is inexpensive and quite durable. Patients who have fillings placed on their teeth might have them for the rest of their lives without ever needing to have them replaced or repaired. Another type of metal filling that is less popular, and more expensive than amalgam fillings is gold cast fillings. This type is less common and takes longer to set.

  • Composite Fillings

These fillings are less visible than metal fillings because they are tooth colored. Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass and are bonded to the tooth. This type of filling is more expensive than traditional fillings, but they are more far more visually pleasing and can also last an exceptionally long time.

  • Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain fillings are a more recent type of filling that uses the latest in technological advancements in the dental industry. These fillings are incredibly strong and look just like your real teeth. They do not stain, and they can last for decades if taken care of properly. This type will be the most expensive option for you.

The Causes behind Dental Fillings

Fillings are used to fill small holes in teeth that are the result of either a fracture or decay. Decay is brought on by bacterial infections. Every day each of us has millions of bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria are necessary to begin the process of extracting nutrients for our bodies. When the bacteria are allowed to build and not kept under control a clear sticky substance called plaque begins to form on our teeth. The plaque harbors bacteria that then turns into a damaging acid as it attacks the enamel of a tooth. This is the simple logic behind brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. You are removing plaque and keeping the bacteria in check. A poor diet, lifestyle habits, drug use, medication, and medical conditions can cause tooth decay. A dental filling covers and repairs a hole in your tooth to protect the sensitive pulp and prevent further damage from occurring.

Composite Vs. Metal Fillings

The major difference between composite and amalgam fillings is the material used. Dental amalgam is a blend of several metals, including mercury and silver. It has been used reliably to fill teeth in the US since the nineteenth century. Records of a similar amalgam of mercury, silver, and tin are even mentioned in Chinese medical texts as far back as the first century.

Starting in the 1990s, advances in the dental industry produced new options for filling teeth. One of the most popular of these is composite fillings. The material used for composite fillings is a mixture of polymers that can adhere to the tooth surface and are hardened with a blue light.

Some people prefer this type of filling because it does not contain mercury. Also, because it is tooth-colored, it is not easily visible. Composite resins are strong enough to withstand pressures from the back teeth, and generally last ten years or more, making them a practical, comfortable, and attractive alternative to metal amalgam.

The Dental Filling Process

According to the American Dental Association around 175 million dental filling procedures are done in the United States every year. That makes a dental filling a quite common dental procedure. The process is simple and can be completed in less than an hour in most cases.

The first step is the x-ray that confirms the cavity. To prepare for the dental filling procedure we then administer a local anesthetic. Once the tooth is sufficiently numb, we will remove the decay using a high speed hand-held dental drill. We will discuss with you your options to determine the right cavity filling material for your needs and preferences. The tooth is then cleaned and prepared in order for it to receive the filling. If you opted for composite fillings, less tooth surface needs to be removed and altered than if you are having metal fillings placed

Aftercare Following your Dental Filling

Once your dental filling is completed, you will continue to have a numbing sensation in the immediate area for several hours.  Once the numbness has worn off, you are typically able to resume your normal daily activities. You will treat your filling like you do the rest of your teeth, that is to continue to brush and floss properly to ensure your filling lasts a long time.

During your regular check-ups at Cherrydale Family Dental, we will check the integrity of the filling and ensure that further decay has not occurred. You may experience some sensitivity for a few weeks following your filling as well. This is common and should subside after some time.

If you experience discomfort or pain in the area, let us know as soon as possible. If your filling ever cracks or falls out, make an appointment right away to have it repaired or replaced to prevent further damage from occurring in the tooth and surrounding teeth.


Quality Dental Care for ALL Family Members

At Cherrydale Family Dental, 4399 Old Dominion Dr., Arlington, VA, we work hard to develop trusting and long-standing relationships with all patients. We see more than just a smile, teeth, and gums when you walk through our front door. We see a patient that we care about and one who will become a trusting member of our family. We want to contribute and participate in helping you maintain good oral health to the best of your ability. We will always look forward to seeing you and discussing what is best for you and your smile. Please contact us at 703-243-8288 to discuss the benefits of a dental filling and to improve your quality of life.


Modern dentistry techniques, affordable prices and financial options make it easier than ever for you to have a bright and healthy smile. We are currently accepting new patients and we would love to help you get the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Call us at (703) 243-8288 to book an appointment OR easily using the button below.