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Dental Filling

What Does a Dental Filling Do?

In order to treat a cavity, the dentist will do a dental filling with a tooth-color restorative material. This is where he or she fills the area of the tooth where the decayed material once was. A dental filling can also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth and teeth that have been worn down from bad habits, such as teeth grinding and nail-biting.

Once you're done, your mouth will probably remain numb for a few more hours. There aren’t any significant risks associated with filling cavities, but be sure to keep your dentist’s contact information on hand in case you have any questions or complications.

The most common use of tooth fillings is to fill a cavity in the tooth. But tooth fillings also can be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or to replace part of a broken tooth.


There are different types of materials available. Teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, silver, amalgam, or tooth-colored plastic. The location and extent of the decay, along with the cost of the filling material and your dentist's recommendations, can help you determine the type of dental filling that will best address your needs. Indirect fillings are similar to tooth-colored fillings or composites but are made in a dental laboratory. These fillings are used when there isn’t enough tooth structure to support a filling but the tooth isn’t so damaged that it needs a crown. Our provider will determine the best restoration for every case and the need for an occlusal guard.

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