woman getting tooth filling

Dental Fillings: A Comprehensive Guide

Dental fillings are a standard procedure for treating cavities and restoring damaged teeth. Understanding dental fillings, the types available, and the aftercare required is essential to ensure you make informed decisions about your oral health. This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know about dental fillings. From what they are and how they work to the various types of fillings, including tooth fillings, and their associated risks. We will also cover the procedure for getting a filling and how to care for your teeth with fillings. So, if you have a cavity or want to learn more about dental fillings, keep reading!

Understanding Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a standard dental treatment that restores the structure of decayed or damaged teeth. They help prevent tooth sensitivity, pain, and further decay by protecting the tooth enamel. Fillings can be made of various materials like gold, silver, or dental filling materials like composite resin. Understanding the different types of fillings, like cast gold, silver amalgams, and tooth-colored composites, including using a gold crown and potential side effects like galvanic shock caused by an electric current, is essential for making informed decisions about dental care. The procedure for dental fillings involves several steps, including cavity preparation and placement of the filling. It’s essential to properly care for teeth with fillings to maintain their good condition within a short period. Additionally, certain types of solid and durable composite fillings get hardened by a special light, making them even stronger and more durable, similar to a newly filled tooth.

Cast Gold Fillings

Cast gold fillings are a popular choice due to their strength and durability. With proper care, they can last for a long time. These fillings are especially suitable for restoring teeth, which experience significant biting force. Their precise fit minimizes the risk of sensitivity or discomfort. One thing to remember is that gold fillings require a second visit to the dental office for placement.

Silver Fillings (Amalgams)

Silver or amalgam fillings have a proven track record of durability and effectiveness in filling dental cavities. These fillings, also known as dental amalgam, are silver in color and contain mercury vapor, making them noticeable options for tooth restoration. They are particularly suitable for cavity restoration in the back teeth, as they can withstand chewing forces. Silver fillings can be placed relatively quickly, providing efficient and convenient dental treatment for individuals with a health condition, including pregnant women who may experience symptoms of amalgam allergy such as skin rashes and itching.

Tooth-coloured Composites

Tooth-coloured composites are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. Made from a mixture of plastic and glass, these fillings closely match the color of natural teeth. They are bonded to the tooth, helping to preserve more of the natural tooth structure than amalgam fillings, making them a good option when there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling. Additionally, tooth-colored composites are less likely to cause tooth cracking or fracture. However, it’s important to note that they may not last as long as amalgam fillings and require more frequent replacement.

Procedure for Dental Fillings

The procedure for dental fillings involves several steps. First, the decayed tooth material is removed to the extent of the decay. To ensure a pain-free experience, a local anesthetic is administered. The filling material is then carefully placed in the cavity, shaping to fit the tooth structure and block pain signals. After removing any excess material, the filling is polished for a smooth finish using a particular piece of equipment called dental work equipment. In some cases, a replacement filling may be necessary if the decay is extensive or insufficient tooth structure remains. Typically, the entire dental filling procedure can be completed in just one visit unless the decay has reached the pulp of the tooth, in which case a root canal procedure may be necessary.

Aftercare for Dental Fillings

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is essential for the long-term success of dental fillings. Brushing and flossing regularly, along with scheduling regular dental check-ups, can help monitor the condition of fillings and detect any potential issues, such as food particles getting stuck in the filling or on the sides of the filling. Avoiding delightful foods or acidic foods and beverages is essential, as they can contribute to filling breaks or decay around the filling, especially for new fillings. Additionally, following the specific care instructions provided by the dentist for newly filled teeth, including avoiding hard or sticky foods and adequately caring for the placement of a filling, is crucial to prevent any potential result of improper cavity preparation or fracturing of the remaining tooth. Regular check-ups and maintenance are essential for older restorations to prevent decay or fracturing of the remaining tooth.


In conclusion, dental fillings are a standard and effective treatment for restoring teeth damaged by decay or injury. Different types of dental fillings are available, including cast gold fillings, silver fillings (amalgams), and tooth-colored composites. The procedure for dental fillings involves several steps, including removing the decayed portion of the tooth, cleaning the area, and filling it with the chosen material. Aftercare for dental fillings is essential to maintain oral health, including proper oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and avoiding habits that can damage the fillings. It’s important to note that while dental fillings are generally safe, there may be risks associated with certain materials or individual factors. Consult with your dentist to determine the best options for your specific needs.

Contact us today at Creekside Family Dental!

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