What is a Tooth Filling?
A dental filling is a type of restorative dental material used to repair a cavity or tooth decay. When a dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth, the resulting hole is filled with a dental filling material to restore the tooth's shape, function, and prevent further damage.Learn more
Tooth Filling includes:
Filling - one to five surfaces
Frequently asked questions
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Dental fillings may be required when a tooth has an area of decay which has become deep enough to extend beyond the tooth enamel into the inner body of the tooth. If left untreated decay can reach the nerve of the tooth, causing a painful toothache.
The type of filling material used will depend on several factors, including the location and extent of the decay, the patient's oral health, and their budget. Your dentist can help you choose the best type of filling for your specific needs.
Composite fillings: These fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass, and they are designed to match the color of the natural teeth. They are often used for front teeth or other visible areas of the mouth.
Amalgam fillings: These fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. They are strong and durable and are often used for molars or other teeth that are not visible when smiling.
Gold fillings: These fillings are made of gold alloy and are considered the most durable and long-lasting. They are expensive and require multiple visits to the dentist.
Ceramic or porcelain fillings: These fillings are made of porcelain or ceramic materials, and they are designed to match the natural color of the teeth. They are strong and durable, but they are also expensive.
Glass ionomer fillings: These fillings are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass, and they are often used for children or for small fillings in areas that are not under heavy chewing pressure.
The procedure for a tooth filling typically involves the following steps:
Numbing the area: The dentist will start by numbing the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
Removing the decay: The dentist will use a dental drill or laser to remove the decayed portion of the tooth.
Cleaning the cavity: After removing the decay, the dentist will clean the cavity thoroughly to remove any bacteria or debris.
Filling the cavity: Once the cavity is clean, the dentist will fill it with the chosen filling material. They will shape and polish the filling to restore the tooth's natural shape and function.
Checking your bite: After filling the cavity, the dentist will check your bite to ensure that the filling does not interfere with your teeth's natural alignment.
Finishing up: The dentist will give you instructions on how to care for your filling and schedule a follow-up appointment if necessary.
The entire procedure typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the extent of the decay and the type of filling material used.
The lifespan of a tooth filling can vary depending on several factors, including the type of filling material used, the location of the tooth, and the patient's oral hygiene habits. In general, most tooth fillings last for several years before needing to be replaced.
Amalgam fillings are the most durable and can last up to 15 years or more with proper care. Composite fillings are less durable and may need to be replaced every 5-7 years. Gold and porcelain fillings are the most durable and can last up to 20 years or more.
To help your fillings last as long as possible, it's essential to practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoid chewing on hard objects or biting down on foods that could damage your fillings. If you experience any pain or sensitivity around a filling or notice any damage, it's best to contact your dentist to schedule an appointment and determine if the filling needs to be replaced.
It's recommended that you wait at least an hour after a tooth filling before eating or drinking anything. This will give the filling enough time to set and harden properly. Additionally, you should avoid hot or cold foods and drinks for the first few hours after the filling procedure to prevent any discomfort or sensitivity.
013 Oral examination – limited x 1
022 Intraoral radiograph – per exposure x 2 (if needed)
037 Panoramic radiograph – per exposure x 1 (if needed)
531 Adhesive restoration – one surface – posterior tooth – direct x 1 or;
532 Adhesive restoration – two surfaces – posterior tooth – direct x 1 or;
533 Adhesive restoration – three surfaces – posterior tooth – direct x 1 or;
534 Adhesive restoration – four surfaces – posterior tooth – direct x 1 or;
535 Adhesive restoration – five surfaces – posterior tooth – direct x 1
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