A filling is a way to restore teeth damaged due to cavities or decay back to their normal function and shape. The first step is to remove the decayed material from the tooth; the affected area is then cleaned, shaped and filled with a filling material.

Tooth fillings significantly restore the form and function of teeth, and people suffering from the following oral issues can get them:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Damaged teeth due to a previous filling
  • A chipped or fractured tooth
  • Food particles stuck between gapped teeth
  • Dark spots on teeth surfaces

By filling the spaces between gapped teeth, a filling helps protect the tooth by preventing further decay due to bacterial accumulation. Materials used for fillings include composite resin (white fillings) and an amalgam (an alloy made of silver and other metals). Specific types of fillings are suitable for patients and are determined by the extent of the decay and where the filling is needed in the mouth.

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Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is an infectious disease that damages tooth structures, resulting in cavities and forming holes in the tooth surface. It is one of the most common diseases throughout the world; it is estimated that 95% of the population has had at least one cavity throughout their life. A cavity occurs on a tooth surface where most of its mineral content has been lost and forms a hole.

The process by which this occurs is called demineralization, and it takes place because of the presence of acids on a tooth’s surface. When acids form on a tooth surface, they dissolve the minerals in the enamel and create holes and weak spots in the teeth.

As the decay spreads inward into the middle layer of teeth, they become more sensitive to temperature extremes. When the decay reaches the centre of the tooth (the pulp), the resulting inflammation leads to a bad toothache and sometimes becomes a reason for tooth loss.


The acids that become a reason for tooth decay are produced by specific types of bacteria that live in a complex colony in the mouth termed a biofilm. Biofilm in your mouth is also called dental plaque or tartar. 

The bacteria, if remained in your mouth for extended periods, convert to a hardened material called dental plaque. Then the dental plaque starts to consume sugars and produce acids that cause tooth demineralization. Moreover, dental plaque provides a home for oral bacteria and acts as a medium that holds the acid they produce directly against a tooth’s surface, severely damaging their functionality.

Everyone’s mouth is inhabited by bacteria, but you can minimise the risk of tooth decay by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. Good oral hygiene does not allow the bacteria to form organised colonies in your mouth.


Tooth fillings are generally considered to be dental restorative procedures and are classified into different types depending on their material and effectiveness.


The metal or amalgam fillings are fabricated from different materials, including copper, silver, zinc, or mercury. The amalgam fillings are widely chosen because of being long-lasting, durable, and affordable. On average, the silver fillings can last up to 12 years with little maintenance and good oral hygiene.

However, these fillings do not blend with the natural tooth colour and do not look aesthetically pleasing. That’s why dentists recommend amalgam fillings to be placed in the posterior teeth, in the molars or premolars. 


Composite fillings are, also called direct fillings, applied directly on the tooth surface and completely blend with the natural tooth colour. Composite dental fillings are the most common and widely preferred option as they are custom-made and fabricated according to your tooth size, shape, and colour. 

Composite fillings can last up to 10 years with well-maintained oral care and enable the person to smile confidently as they look completely natural. That’s why composite dental fillings can be placed on the front or visible teeth as well.


It is important to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis to effectively and completely remove dental plaque from all tooth surfaces. Also, limit the consumption of sugary items. When the particles of these items remain in your teeth for extended periods, they become a reason for tooth decay by forming harmful acid in your mouth. They also lead to the formation of holes in your teeth by dissolving the outer surface of teeth, the enamel.

Moreover, you can also protect your teeth from decay by following some simple steps. Including:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride-based toothpaste after having meals.
  • Rinse your mouth. 
  • Visit your dentist regularly. 
  • Consider having dental sealants. 
  • Avoid frequent snacking, especially at midnight.
  • Eat tooth-healthy foods. 
  • Consider having fluoride treatments.

At Ingersoll dental care, you can find the best dental restorative services at affordable costs often covered by dental insurance. We strive to provide our clients with effective dental treatments that significantly repair their dental imperfections and provide them with significant and long-lasting results. 

Apart from dental fillings, we also have specialities in other dental care services like dental crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, etc. So if you think you are in need of any of these dental services, make the right decision by booking an appointment with us.


During the placement of dental fillings, the dentist generally numbs the affected area with sedatives, and patients do not feel any pain during the whole process. However, after getting tooth fillings, people might feel slight discomfort or pain, but these are temporary side effects and fade away on their own within a few days.

Generally, dentists advise patients to wait for at least 2 hours after getting tooth fillings to eat anything. Moreover, you should also avoid chewing hard or sticky food items from the affected tooth as it can damage the quality of tooth fillings. The silver amalgam fillings require more time to settle than any other type of fillings, and in that period, the patients are not allowed to eat anything.