Determining if you need a Filling

Mostly, dental fillings are used when the patient has a tooth decay (caries). In our practice we use several methods to determine the need:

  • Observation
  • Cavity-detecting dye
  • X-rays
  • Laser fluorescence cavity detection aids

You may need filling for other reasons as well, for example if you have cracked or broken teeth; or if you use your teeth for other purposes such as nail-biting, tooth grinding, opening things with your teeth.

Procedure and tooth preparation

  • Restoring a tooth to good form and function requires two steps: 1) preparing the tooth for placement of restorative material or materials, and 2) placement of these materials
  • This procedure in our practice is totally free of painless – you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area
  • The process of preparation usually involves cutting the tooth with a rotary dental handpiece and dental burrs to make space for the planned restorative materials and to remove any dental decay or portions of the tooth that are structurally unsound. If permanent restoration cannot be carried out immediately after tooth preparation, temporary restoration may be performed.
  • Your tooth is ready for placement of restorative materials. Mostly, we use composite fillings to fill the gap. After tooth preparation, a thin primer or bonding agent is used. Modern photo-polymerised composites are applied and cured in relatively thin layers as determined by their opacity. After some curing, the final surface will be shaped and polished.

Replacing the fillings

Fillings don’t last forever. It can change colour overtime and fillings may pick up stains, and yellow or darken over time. During chewing, teeth and any fillings in it are subjected to tremendous pressures. Even if no other problems develop, some fillings will wear out over time and will need to be replaced. A filling will need to be replaced earlier if it falls out, leaks or cracks.

Why are dental fillings so important?

Tooth decay can cause chronic disease and cavities. Dental filling, a time-tested and effective way to keep tooth decay from doing further damage. True to its name, the filling seals up the small hole in your tooth that decay-causing bacteria have created.


Restores tooth shape


Protects from further damage


Restores tooth aesthetics

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