A hole can form in a tooth if tooth decay has destroyed it. The dental surgeon needs to fill this cavity using a dental filling. Fillings are utilized to correct broken or cracked teeth that have been worn off due to misuse.

Decide if you require a tooth filling

Your dental surgeon may use many techniques to decide if there is a cavity in your teeth. These techniques include,

Dental observation:

If there are discolored spots on your teeth, they may indicate you have a decayed tooth. The dentist can use a different technique to observe caries. He/she uses an explorer such as a metal instrument with a pointed tip. Tooth enamel which is healthy and hard resists pressure administered by an explorer. On the other hand, decayed tooth enamel is softer and it cannot resist the pressure of a metal instrument.

Dental cavity-observing dye:

This solution can be applied to your teeth. The solution will stick to your decayed teeth and will wash off easily from healthy teeth.


There are tooth caries that are not visible on the surface. In this condition, dental x-rays are carried out to detect smaller dental holes.

If you are diagnosed with a cavity, you may require dental filling to correct your damaged tooth.

Dental filling options          

Dental surgeons have several ways to create beautiful, natural feeling and looking smiles. There is a wide variety of filling materials ranging from natural looking polymer compound and ceramics to metal. Therefore, dentists and patients can find more alternatives when it comes to choosing compounds to correct decayed, missing, worn or damaged teeth.

Dental amalgam

If there is a cavity in the molar teeth, dental amalgam is the most common material to fill this. This alloy has low mercury density and is effective and safe. The National Health and Medical Research Council believe that amalgam is an effective and an essential restorative substance which does not cause any specific illnesses. There is no a medical proof also that support any connection between cancer and amalgam fillings.

Composite resin tooth filling

These fillings were created as a substitute to conventional metal tooth fillings. Tooth colored fillings are like a natural looking tooth, known as composite resin tooth filling. These are made of dental resin of plastic. These dental filling options are durable, strong, and are the perfect choice for a natural looking smile. You can find out several dental insurance plans covering this option.

The cavity is not the only cause to opt for a filling.  Broken or cracked teeth, worn teeth such as nail biting teeth, using your teeth to open things and tooth grinding- may require fillings as well.

Methods to fill a cavity

At first, the dentist will desensitize the decayed area using a local anesthetic. After this, a drill, air abrasion tool or laser light is used to remove the affected area. The operative instrument relies on the comfort level, training and investment of an individual dentist.

Next, the dental practitioner will examine the region during the removal procedure to decide if all the decay has been moved out. After the dentist has removed the tooth decay, he/she will prepare a space to fill by cleaning the hollow space of debris and bacteria. If the hollow is near the tooth root, a liner made of glass ionomer, natural looking resin or other material may be put in the cavity to save the dental nerve. After the filling is done, it is polished.

There involves several extra measurements when it comes to tooth colored fillings. After the decay has been moved out and cleaned, the dentist applies the natural looking materials to the cavity in layers. Next, the dentist applies a laser light to cure and harden each layer. Once the multi-layering procedure is over, the dental expert will shape the composite resin to get you a desired result. If there is any excess material, he/she trims it and polishes the final restoration.

What happens after a tooth filling?

Many individuals experience some sensation after having a dental filling done. The tooth may become sensitive to air, pressure, temperature or sweetened foods. You may feel sensation due to composite fillings and other filling substances.

However, the sensitivity subsides within seven or fourteen days. You must try to avoid things that cause sensitivity until then. If you find that your sensitivity does not reduce about two weeks, you should consult your dentist.

Next time, if you go for a tooth filling, you must let the dentist know about your sensitivity. This time he/she can use a different material to reduce the sensitivity.

Maintaining your dental filling

You should follow good oral hygiene practices to keep your fillings intact.

It is essential to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day and visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings. If your dentist thinks there is a crack in the filling and it is leaking, he/she can take X-rays to check the situation. This is important because if the filling sides do not fit against the tooth tightly, it causes saliva and debris to seep down in the filling; this leads to decay.

If you feel sensitivity and if you feel a sharp edge after a dental filling or you notice a crack in the filling, you must contact your dentist.

Remember one thing, ice does not affect your filling but you should avoid it if you have sensitivity to cold.