A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to it’s normal function and shape


A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to it’s normal function and shape

Instead of old mercury-based amalgam fillings, we use composite fillings, which are much safer and can be made to match the colour of your teeth. If you’ve been avoiding going to the dentist in because you are afraid of filling your mouth with metal, have no fear. At The Dental Centre we offer a completely natural-looking solution without the health risks of mercury fillings.

Treating Cavities

To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).

Really impressed with these guys. Not having a regular dentist in these parts I was able to book an emergency appointment within a few days to fix a sheared front tooth. I saw Dr Roshnee who has a lovely friendly manner. Did a fab job fixing me up with a tooth coloured composite filling. The two receptionists that I dealt with, Ben and Jess, were both friendly and efficient. First class all round. Many thanks.


David Ashford

Frequently Asked Questions About Fillings

What types of filling materials are available?

Today, several dental filling materials are available. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-coloured, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings. There is also a material that contains glass particles and is known as glass ionomer. This material is used in ways similar to the use of composite resin fillings.

What are indirect fillings?
Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-coloured fillings except they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Indirect fillings are considered when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.
During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression or scan is taken to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression/scan is sent to a dental lab that will make the indirect filling. A temporary filling placed to protect the tooth while the restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist will check the fit of the indirect restoration. Provided the fit is acceptable, it will be permanently cemented into place.
There are two types of indirect fillings – inlays and onlays.

  • Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
  • Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, your insurance coverage, and your dentist’s recommendation assist in determining the type of filling best for you.

Will my filling change colour?
No, they will remain the same colour
What's a temporary filling and why would I need one?
Temporary fillings are used under the following circumstances:

  • For fillings that require more than one appointment – for example, before placement of gold fillings and for certain filling procedures (called indirect fillings) that use composite materials
  • Following a root canal
  • To allow a tooth’s nerve to “settle down” if the pulp became irritated
  • If emergency dental treatment is needed (such as to address a toothache)

Temporary fillings are just that; they are not meant to last. They usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within a month. Be sure to contact your dentist to have a temporary filling replaced with a permanent one. If you don’t, the tooth could become infected or you could have other complications.

How should I care for my teeth with fillings?
To maintain fillings, you should follow good oral hygiene — visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily. If your dentist suspects that a filling might be cracked or is “leaking” (when the sides of the filling don’t fit tightly against the tooth, this allows debris and saliva to seep down between the filling and the tooth, which can lead to decay), they will take X-rays to assess the situation. If your tooth is extremely sensitive, if you feel a sharp edge, if you notice a crack in the filling, or if a piece of the filling is missing, call your dentist for an appointment.