Thomas Family Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Filling Restorations

How can we help you?

If you are considering our Hermitage dental office for your family's dental care, we want you to feel confident and informed.

Choosing a dentist is a big decision, and having questions is completely natural.

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from patients. Please feel free to read them below. If you do not see yours listed, just give us a call or email us from our Contact Us Page.

Filling Restorations

Dental Anesthesia | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry Most dental local anesthetics will wear off within a couple of hours. Generally, anesthesia will last one hour on the top and up to four hours on the bottom. If you must eat before your anesthesia wears off, choose something soft, avoid hot beverages and try to chew on the opposite side you had work done on!

Is my bite off? What should I do?

After a new filling or dental crown has been done, you are usually still numb from the local anesthetic when leaving the office. This can make it difficult to tell whether your bite feels normal when the dentist asks to make adjustments! Sometimes, patients notice that once the numbing wears off, their bite feels different after the filling or crown has been placed. This can be a relatively common occurrence. If this is something that you are experiencing, here's what to do:

  1. Give yourself a day or two to settle in- sometimes you are just not yet accustomed to the new material
  2. If it persists, give us a call and ask to be scheduled for an adjustment- this is an easy and quick fix!
  3. At your appointment, we will check your bite again and adjust any areas on the filling/crown that is hitting high
  4. Some fillings/crowns are perfect from the get-go, some take a small and quick adjustment, and some may take a few! 

*Never ignore if you feel like your bite may be off- this can cause the ligaments around the roots to become inflamed, causing soreness and pain if left too long*

Ways to tell if your bite may be off:

  • One side of your teeth feels higher than the other
  • You touch down on one tooth before the others
  • It is tender to chew on that tooth/side of the mouth
  • Something just feels different than it did before
  • It mainly bothers you when chewing/eating

If your new fillings or crowns feel sensitive following completion, this can be normal up to 6+ months. Many times, this is just caused by the manipulation of the drill and work done to the tooth. Start out trying a sensitivity toothpaste. Sensodyne is a well-trusted brand that our patients love! If the sensitivity becomes worse or more frequent after two weeks, you can always give us a call to get it looked at!

new filling & crown | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry


New Fillings Can Take Time to Settle

If you are feeling sensitivity with a tooth after having a filling placed, do not be alarmed. Newly placed fillings can be sensitive up to two weeks and sometimes longer. To help with this sensitivity, avoid extreme food or drink temperatures and brush your teeth with warm water. Using an over the counter sensitivity toothpaste can aid the sensitivity as well when used day and night; give this type of toothpaste up to two weeks to see results.


If you notice that your teeth do not seem to fit together or the filling feels high, a quick adjustment is all you may need! Sometimes it is hard to tell if the finished product feels right when your numbing has not completely worn off yet. If you notice this in time after your appointment, call us to set up a simple adjustment.

If your filling does not feel high, but you notice the sensitivity is only getting worse, please return to the office at your earliest convenience and have the filling further evaluated.


silver vs white fillings | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry



A question we get all the time- what is the difference between silver (amalgam) fillings and white (composite resin) fillings?

Amalgam restorations are a mixture of a powdered alloy (tin-silver and copper) and liquid mercury. 

  • Pros- cheap and effective way to restore a decayed tooth
  • Cons- less conservative to tooth structure, unideal for esthetics, current research on health effects to the rest of the body

Amalgam fillings are retained in the tooth by mechanical bonding. The dentist must cut small "boxes" into the tooth where the amalgam will plug into to be retained.

Composite restorations are a mixture of a tooth-colored resin and glass fixture.

  • Pros- More conservative to tooth structure, blend in with the teeth
  • Cons- Some insurances do not cover and may be slightly more in cost than amalgam fillings

Composite fillings are chemically bonded directly to the tooth. The dentist does not have to drill out the small "boxes" in the tooth as they do for amalgams. Ultimately, the composite fillings are more conservative with your tooth structure which is our goal in dentistry!

cavity fillings | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry




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