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About Teeth Fillings

What makes a smile beautiful? That’s a complex question, but some lovely smile qualities are immediately identifiable: good tooth color, shape, and alignment are a few of the most important ones. If your teeth could use improvement in any of these categories,

What are Teeth Fillings?

Teeth fillings are a restorative dental treatment done by removing decayed infected part of the tooth structure that has been affected or infected by bacterias and their acidic products and inserting a specific material, such as composite , amalgam or porcelain inlays/ onlays. An inlay fills the center of the tooth, whereas the onlay covers up the whole biting exterior of the tooth. Filling procedures aim to make the tooth look and function better and prevents the progress of dental cavities.

Types of Fillings

There are two categories of dental fillings: metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings. Each has its own particular merits and demerits. The choice in every case will depend on several considerations.

Metal Fillings

It is the classic “silver” filling that has been used very reliably for over a century. The dental amalgam is an alloy made up of mercury, powdered silver, tin, and copper traces. The mercury forms what is technically called an amalgam. Amalgamation makes mercury stable and safe. These fillings are strong and inexpensive. The amalgam can be readily prepared in the dental office. Hence the filling can be finished quickly within a single appointment. However, amalgam fillings are conspicuous and noticeable. Also, they require relatively more drilling than other types.There are lots of debate around their esthetics and safety .

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored-Fillings Composite
— Suppose you do not want the filling to show up differently. A composite filling is a good choice. Composites are a mixture of plastic and glass fibers available in various colors to match your teeth. Composites are a bit more expensive but deemed to be safe while their life span might not be as long but this is very circumstantial and depends on the technique being used , they might stain over the time .

Porcelain — Indirect fillings are fabricated inside the laboratory and then attached to the tooth. They are made of dental ceramics that look natural, are strong, and don’t stain as composites. However, they are more expensive than composites. They may also easily chip or crack, but they are aesthetically the most popular. They are made either in the dental laboratory or in the office using high-tech CAD / CAM equipment. If your dental office has an in-house dental lab, your fillings can be made within a single visit.

Glass Ionomer —When mixed with glass powders, acrylic makes an ionomer. Glass ionomer fillings are inexpensive and translucent. They blend with the natural tooth color and also release a small amount of fluoride. The fluoride helps prevent decay. However, they usually do not last as long as other filling materials and mostly used under the other filling materials or on root surface cavities.

How Teeth Fillings Works

Step 1: Application of Local Anesthesia

The dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. The decayed area will then be removed either by using a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser, depending on the degree of decay and of the dentist’s training and expertise with the equipment.

Step 2: Tooth Preparation

The dentist will examine and make sure that the decayed area has been completely removed. The dentist will then clean the cavity to get rid of any bacteria and debris to prepare it for the filling. If the decay is close to the root, the dentist will place a liner first to shield the nerve area. The liner may be composed of glass ionomer, calcium hydroxide , or other materials. Once your dentist has filled the space up, they will then polish it.

Step 3: Filling of Tooth

For tooth-colored fillings, a few additional steps are still needed to complete the procedure. After removing the decay and cleaning the area, the tooth-colored filling will be put in layers. After each layer, a special light hardens it before moving onto the next one. Once the layering is complete, the dentist will polish the shape to achieve a clean restoration look.

Are You a Candidate?

Teeth fillings are necessary to those whose teeth are highly susceptible to decay. Although some individuals may regularly practice proper oral hygiene, they may still get tooth decay due to genetic and lifestyle factors.

Cavities do not heal and restore on their own, so teeth fillings are a necessary treatment option. Having a dental appointment is vital in determining if you need a dentist’s help in restoring them. Delayed and left alone cavities can deepend and cause more damage to the tooth structure .

Benefits of Teeth Fillings

Quick Treatment

The tooth-colored teeth filling procedure takes a short amount of time to finish, with less than an hour for one to two cavities. The procedure is also pain-free since local anesthesia will numb the areas around the gums and teeth that will be treated. Numbing usually takes effect within 10 to 15 minutes of administration, then the dentist begins the treatment.

Aesthetically Appealing

Teeth fillings can now naturally blend with the rest of your teeth that former fillings made of silver amalgam and gold couldn’t. Tooth-colored fillings help give you an aesthetically-pleasing smile without making the filling unpleasantly stand out. With enhanced and beautiful teeth, you can feel confident when you speak, laugh, eat, or even yawn.


Your tooth-colored fillings can last for a minimum of 10 years, given that you take care of your oral health. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and having a dental check-up and cleaning every six months. You should also unlearn any dental habits that are detrimental to your teeth, from chewing hard objects like pens, fingernails, ice, hard candies, or anything that can cause your fillings to chip away or be removed.

Leaves More Healthy Tooth Structure Intact

Tooth-colored fillings can affix itself to the teeth due to the composite resin it contains. This allows for a less invasive treatment to keep more of your natural tooth. Thus, there is no need to remove too much from the natural tooth structure compared to silver amalgam or gold fillings.


Patients often choose tooth-colored fillings due to their benefits and the absence of mercury in it. Previously used fillings such as silver amalgam, although minimal, contain mercury that worries most patients. Now, you can rest easy knowing that your dental fillings are entirely safe.


Tooth-colored fillings restore your tooth, but unlike formerly used silver amalgam fillings, this type of filling creates a seamless and natural look.

Reduced Risk of a Tooth Fracture

Tooth-colored fillings have a significant difference, making it a better option than amalgam fillings, which is its lack of reactivity to temperature. Amalgam fillings are composed of metals that react to extreme temperatures. This is a high disadvantage because we often eat or drink hot and cold substances. Amalgams may expand or contract as you consume these. If this continues for years, your teeth may crack, and you won’t be able to notice until there is a visible fracture. Unlike amalgam fillings, tooth-colored fillings do not expand or contract, making them less susceptible to tooth fracture.

No Discolorations

Large silver amalgam may become too apparent at the back of your tooth enamel, and its color may seep into the tooth eventually. However, with tooth-colored fillings, there is no risk of discoloration.

Why Choose Burnaby Square Dental

You Will Always Receive a Personalized Experience

At Burnaby Square Dental, we constantly aim to give each of our patients a unique and exceptional experience. We personalize and adjust to the unique needs to ensure your comfort during your appointments. Our committed team of professionals is always at your service anytime you wish to visit. Call us now at (604) 526-2725, or visit our website to schedule an appointment today!

We Offer Competitive and Fair Pricing

Rest assured that at Burnaby Square Dental, we make sure to have fair and competitive prices so our patients can be accommodated with the best treatment. We also accept several insurance plans and assist you with the details as necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental fillings, called restorations in clinical terms, usually last for a decade or so, and a lot of these can last even longer.

Composite fillings are very desirable fillings as compared to silver amalgam fillings. Although they cost more, composite fillings are more durable and can match the natural color of your teeth. Another type of filling is the ceramic filling made of porcelain, which also looks pleasing and lasts for a long time.

The tooth filling procedure is painless. Teeth are numbed but some sensitivity afterwards is expected.

Yes. In rare cases fillings can be done with no freezing but in general you need to be numb. There are new techniques like laser dentistry that could be used without drilling and pain.

After the procedure, the treated area may be sensitive for two to four weeks. If it lasts any longer than that, inform your dentist.

The filling hardens as soon as your dentist puts UV light on the treated area. Chewing food on the site where the filling had been placed is allowed by your dentist right away as soon as the freezing fades away.

The dentist will make sure you are void of any pain or discomfort during the procedure by numbing your tooth and the area around it. The dentist may opt to use a topical gel or local anesthetic via an injection and if you are anxious, give you nitrous oxide gas — commonly known as the “laughing gas” — to make you comfortable.

Yes. You can resume brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day after getting dental fillings.

More often than not, dental membership plans cover the composite fillings’ cost to the silver components. The patient usually would need to take care of the remaining charges. You must ask about your treatment option fees, as it varies depending on the option you chose and your coverage.

Dental fillings can be composed of different materials. However, the most common types are amalgam silver and tooth-colored composites. At Burnaby Square Dental we offer only tooth coloured fillings.

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