What you need to know about tooth filling procedure

what you need to know about tooth filling procedure

If your tooth is broken worn-down, chipped, cracked or decayed, tooth filling is a great way to restore it. The goal of the procedure is to even out the surface of the damage tooth and improve its functionality but also to prevent further decay and deterioration.

Tooth fillings have certain benefits:

  • It’s relatively cheap since the majority of material used is quite affordable
  • They usually last between two and five years. Of course, the durability greatly depends on the material used e.g., porcelain or silver fillings can last up to 10-15 years and gold fillings can last up to 50 years with proper maintenance.
  • They are highly customizable for every patient’s individual needs

How can you know if you need a tooth filling?

There are certain symptoms (sensation to hot and cold food/beverages, acidic, sour or sweet foods and liquids etc.) which might indicate that you need a filling.

Food gets stuck between your teeth

If you get food stuck between your teeth, it might be because there’s a gap or hole that shouldn’t be there. See with your dentist if you need tooth filling to correct this

Tooth filling can minimize tooth sensitivity

When you experience sharp and sudden pain or discomfort, it could be because some of the nerve endings inside your teeth are exposed. This can be due to tooth decay or broken tooth which will require a filling.

Holes or dark spots on your teeth

If you notice dark spots on your tooth, it might be that you’ve develop cavities. If left untreated, cavities can easily turn into cavernous holes.


Experienced sharp and sudden pain when consuming hot/cold, sour, sweet or acidic drinks might be a sign of tooth sensitivity and you should contact your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. But you can also fee ongoing, throbbing pain for a longer period of time which might not be caused by sensitive teeth. In situations like this, you should also contact your dentist and see if a tooth filling is required or you will need other dental procedures such as a root canal.

Tooth filling got damaged or lost

We mentioned earlier that a dental filling, depending on the material used, last for several years. Once that time passes, there’s a higher risk that the filling will get damaged or it will simply fall out and get lost. If you notice that there’s a hole in your tooth where a filling used to be, schedule a dentist appointment so a new filling can be put in.

Teared flossing string

Another sign that a new tooth filling is in order is when your flossing string tears. If you notice that the flossing string tears every time you floss a particular tooth, it could mean that the tooth filling has worn off and it requires a restoration.

Tooth filling– What can you expect from the procedure

Each toot filling procedure can be divided into several separate stages.

Tooth examination – When the dentist takes a look at the X-rays of your teeth, looking for damages that might require filling

Tooth preparation – You might receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and make the procedure more comfortable. Once that takes effect, the dentist will use certain tools to remove the damaged tooth, clean the debris and bacteria and prepare the surface for a tooth filling.

Filling application – On the prepared surface, the dentist will place an adhesive material which helps the filling bond with the tooth. If the damage to your tooth is extensive, the filling will require to be done in several layers. Tooth fillings that are colored to match your teeth will be hardened using a special curing light.

Polishing – The final step in the procedure is to polish the filling to the required level and to make it look as natural as possible. Your dentist will ask you to bite down in order to make sure that the filling is perfectly aligned and that it doesn’t cause any problems when eating.

Proper dental care and regular visits to your dentist will help you keep your teeth as healthy as possible. But if you notice some of the symptoms mentioned above, you might need a tooth filling so make sure to contact our office and schedule an appointment.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”