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All you need to know about dental fillings

Dental Fillings

By : Bespoke Dental Studio

11 Oct 2020

Dental fillings are the materials which are used in dentistry to fill cracks or holes in the teeth. The fillings stop further decay of the tooth by sealing the gaps in teeth, and protects the roots. When the gaps are filled the patient can resume eating and drinking normally.

What is the procedure for filling cracks in teeth?

The procedure for filling the cracks and holes involves the dentist cleaning the area where the filling has to be inserted. The fillings can be matched with the tooth colour.

Before the work on the tooth begins, the dentist will use local anaesthesia on the tooth and surrounding area so that the sensations of pain are numb. The cleaning of the decay is done with an instrument called air abrasion instrument. Now, dentists also use laser which is more precise, but the choice remains with the dentist and his comfort level with the instruments, and the extent of decay which requires cleaning.

The dentist will remove the decay and cleans the are so that all the bacteria and debris are removed. If the root canal treatment had been done, then your dentist may like to line the root with glass ionomer or composite resit which will serve to protect the exposed nerve. After the tooth has been prepared for the filling, the dentist will fill the hole with the filling that has been chosen by you with the dentist’ consultation. Once the filling is in, it will be smoothened. The filling is applied in layers and is dried with UV light before another layer is put. After the completed layering, it will be trimmed and finished with polishing.

The preparation of tooth and other procedures will take more than an hour. Be in time and keep a little more time extra for any unplanned work arising out of the situation.

There are the many options in the materials to choose from for the filling of cavities. The present-day dental professionals use a lot of materials to prepare dental fillings. The choice of fillings material depends on the individual patient and which part of the mouth the decayed tooth is located. The budget is important too. An additional factor that needs a mention is the allergies a patient might have for certain materials.

The material available today are diverse and can fit into any budget. The popular materials used by many patients include gold, silver amalgam, plastic, resin composite, and glass ionomers. There are pros and cons of all the filling materials and your dentist will recommend the one which is best suited to your need. The most commonly used material for fillings is Amalgam and resin composite.

What are the different types of tooth filling materials?

The following are the common types of tooth filling materials available.

Amalgam fillings

These are in use for almost a century. This material is one of the most well-researched filling materials used as cavity filling. Amalgam fillings have been famous among dental professionals because it is very strong. Since it is so strong, it best to be used for molars which are in the back of the mouth, where almost all chewing is done. Since Amalgam is made up of a combination of many metals like mercury, tin, and zinc, it is strong and long lasting. Amalgam is strong but is visible because of its silver tinge, when you laugh. Amalgam is least expensive among all other selection of fillings.

Composite Fillings

These are also called resin composites. They can be made with glass or quartz filler to make it match the colour of the tooth. These fillings are reasonably durable and last long. They are suitable for restorations of small or middle size cavities, for areas which are used for moderate chewing job.


Porcelainfillings are also called ceramic fillings. They are tooth coloured and matches the other teeth, which makes them look pretty. But they are expensive and may cost as much as gold filling.


Metal fillings include gold and silver fillings. Gold and silver fillings are among the most common expensive fillings. They are long lasting and some people like their looks also. They cannot be matched to the tooth colours and stand out in the mouth. But because of its durability factor they go for it.

Glass Ionomer

These are a blend of acrylic and glass. These fillings release fluoride which helps in protection of teeth. These fillings are not as durable as other metal fillings and therefore have to be replaced often.

How to look after fillings

It is common to feel little discomfort when you get fillings initially. It subsides in a day or two. This may induce you to be hesitant about normal dental care like brushing. But you must follow your normal brushing ate getting fillings for cavities. Usually fillings last for long, but you may find that some fillings fall out soon after put in place. If you find your filling fallen out, contact your dentist immediately. It has to be filled again immediately otherwise your cavities will attract bacteria and further decay.

Usually tooth fillings las long. But they will wear and tear after some time naturally, and will need to be replaced. People who have the habit of teeth grinding will need more frequent replacements.

Cracked fillings

When you notice cracks or worn out fillings, you can ask the dentist to get a replacement. Do not go on chewing foods with a crack in the filling because it may make the tooth to crack., which will lead to more extensive work and more expense. Tooth decay can develop around the cracked filling and may lead to complications. When you get infections around a filling then your dentist may decide to make a crown rather than use a filling again.

Pulled away fillings

Sometimes the filling may pull away from the base of the tooth and create a tiny space where bacteria can reside and infections set in. If you notice a space between the tooth and the filling immediately visit your dentist.

Fillings can get damaged if you injure yourself in sports or accident. See your dentist even if you do not notice any damage to the filling.

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