Treatment Guides

Tooth filling

Tooth filling involves the removal of decaying matter from within the tooth and filling the resultant cavity with a replacement material. Several filler materials are used in the process. The goal is always to protect the nerve and to stop further decay from causing irreparable damage to the offending tooth.

quick details
WHO IS THIS FOR
  • People with tooth decay.
  • People with cracked or broken teeth.
  • People with excessively worn teeth.
RECOVERY TIME
  • Patients are usually free to go about their day immediately after treatment.
  • A little residual pain and sensitivity might persist for a few days after a tooth filling.
TREATMENT DURATION
  • 20 minutes to an hour.
SUCCESS
  • The success rate of tooth fillings is almost 100%.
  • A small number of patients have to undergo an extraction. This is due to more extensive decay than was previously suspected.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
  • Infection, which can sometimes occur if the filling detaches from the tooth.
  • Damage to the tooth, often resulting in the need for an extraction.
  • Allergic reactions; some people are allergic to the materials used to create fillers, although cases are very rare.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
HOW DOES IT WORK?

What is tooth filling?

A tooth filling involves "filling" the cavity in a tooth caused by decay. The dentist must first remove all of the decay. The chosen material is then packed into the space within the tooth to protect it from pain, sensitivity and further decay.

How does tooth filling work?

1. Anaesthetic

As your dentist will be removing decay that could be close to the nerve in the tooth, a local anaesthetic is necessary. A couple of injections will probably be required, both directly into the gum surrounding the tooth.

2. Decay removal

Once the area is numb, your doctor will begin the process of removing the dead and decayed matter from within your tooth. This might involve the use of a drill, a laser or a fast jet of air. A range of different instruments is used to ensure every piece of decay is fully removed.

3. Cleaning

Once all the decay has been removed, your dentist will clean the tooth to prepare for your filling. This step is essential as it prevents further decay and ensures the filling remains in place.

4. Tooth filling

The filler material is applied gradually in layers. Each layer is treated with a special light which hardens it before the next one is applied. Once all of the layers are in place, your dentist will shape the filling to the desired shape. Excess filler is removed, and the filling is then smoothed.

Are there different types of tooth filling?

There are five main types of filling in use today. Which one you're offered will depend on your dentist's preferences as well as your budget.

1. Amalgam fillings

Used for more than a century, amalgam fillings are strong and reliable. They're made from several metallic materials, and they can last a lifetime. However, they're not aesthetically pleasing. In fact, they often look black - making them very noticeable when you laugh or smile. Still in use today, amalgam is usually the cheapest option.

2. Metals

Metal fillings deliver a unique aesthetic that some people are willing to pay a premium for. Usually silver or gold, metal fillings are very expensive. In some cases, they can be up to 10 times more expensive than those made with amalgam. You should expect your gold or silver fillings to last between 10 and 20 years.

3. Composite

Composite fillings are very popular these days as they can be manufactured to match the exact colour of your other teeth. Made with various resins and fillers such as glass and quartz, compositive fillers are highly durable and largely invisible. More and more people are opting for composite fillings, and with good reason. They can be coloured to blend in with existing teeth seamlessly. They are also known to bond chemically with teeth, giving them added strength and longevity. Also, composite fillers are more versatile than other options. They can be used to fill smaller, awkwardly-shaped cavities - so less preparation is required.

4. Ceramic

A ceramic filling can be made to look just like the tooth it covers - but with the added advantage of being resistant to colour changes. Unfortunately, a ceramic filling is often just as expensive as a gold one.

5. Glass ionomer

Glass ionomer is a mixture of glass and acrylic. It's not as durable as the other materials used to make fillings, but it releases fluoride at regular intervals - which is a good way to keep a damaged tooth strong.

6. Temporary fillings

Temporary fillings are made with cheaper materials as they're usually only expected to last a week or two. They're used when people are waiting for permanent solutions. They're also used to fill the space in a tooth immediately after root canal treatment. And if you ever have emergency dental treatment, there's a chance you might be given a temporary filling until a more detailed procedure can be administered.

What should I expect?

Fillings are an everyday, routine job for dentists around the world. If everything goes to plan, don't expect to be in the dentist's chair for more than half an hour. Depending on the scale of the problem, you may be given more than one pain-killing injection. Just try to remain calm and still throughout the procedure. Your dentist might advise you to avoid temperature extremes for a day or two. You might feel a little residual pain, but other than that, there's not a lot to worry about.

WHERE CAN I FIND A DOCTOR?
Qunomedical Health Managers have an all-round knowledge to find the right specialist for you. Learn more about Qunomedical.
Reviews

4.8

6 Reviews in All Countries

friendliness

facilities

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Filter by Destination
Filter by Rating
Sort by

Verified Patient

Josko D.,

United States

September 2017

| Bagatin Clinic, Croatia

overall

friendliness

facilities

I would highly recommend this clinic to anyone that wants only the best. Definitely the leader in their field in Croatia, perhaps even Europe.

I can truly say that Poliklinika Bagatin is a world class clinic. When they say they offer 5 star service they are serious. I lived in the US over 20 years and Poliklinika Bagatin is definitely on par with the top clinics in the world. From the most cutting edge technology, to a helpful and professional staff, as well as world class doctors who are top in their field. I would highly recommend this clinic to anyone that wants only the best. Definitely the leader in their field in Croatia, perhaps even Europe.

Verified Patient

Tord,

Norway

overall

friendliness

facilities

My best experience at a dentist ever.

The experience at Indexmedica was a pleasure from the beginning to the end. The staff takes really good care of you and explains everything in detail. For sure my best experience at a dentist ever. I will return and recommend to anyone. Thank you.

Verified Patient

Holly,

United States

overall

friendliness

facilities

My dentist was awesome.

I came to this dental clinic because one of my good friends recommended it to me. I told her I wanted to go to the absolute best, and she said that this place was perfect for me and that I would find everything that I wanted, so I came here and that was exactly what I found! I was so happy with the care here, it’s really modern, everything is advanced and up to standards, the staff was so polite and friendly, they explained in detail everything that I needed to have done. My dentist was awesome, it was the best dental work that I’ve had done, it was amazing. I have already recommended this to everybody that I know! I love it here. I work at a dental clinic in America and this definitely matches the standards that we have, with the healthcare standards, the safety, the cleanliness and sterilization, everything is definitely up to code. It’s perfect, it was a really good experience for me.

Verified Patient

Jurg,

Switzerland

overall

friendliness

facilities

I can recommend the BIDC to any of my friends.

I can really honestly say I can recommend the BIDC to any of my friends and anyone else for that matter.

Verified Patient

Rajeev,

United Kingdom

overall

friendliness

facilities

Did a very thorough job.

The dentist was very quick and courteous, he did a very thorough job.

Verified Patient

Pillai,

United Kingdom

overall

friendliness

facilities

My best dentist experience ever.

This has been my most pleasent trip to the dentist. The dentist was extremely friendly, professional and great at her job. The clinic was very clean and me feel very much at ease.