What is a Filling?

Tooth fillings are a simple way to rebuild a tooth back to its normal shape and function if the tooth has been damaged by decay. When the dentist gives you a filling, they first remove the decaying part of the tooth and clean the affected area. The dentist then fills the cleaned cavity using one of a variety of filling materials. A filling can prevent further decay by sealing gaps where bacteria can otherwise enter.

Fillings are not only used to fill cavities but can also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth, for instance, those teeth that have been worn down from tooth grinding or biting fingernails.

How To Know If You Need A Filling (or fillings)?

It is often difficult to see the start of a cavity because they usually begin between the teeth, in the areas which are difficult to access with tooth brushing alone. Many people do not realise they have a cavity until they develop a sore tooth.

Your dental specialist at Platinum Dental will determine if you need a filling during your dental examination. Cavities hidden away from view (such as between teeth) can be clearly spotted using digital x-rays. If your dentist sees that you require a filling, they will carefully guide you through all the options for treatment. Like many medical conditions, it is much more effective, and affordable, to treat tooth decay when caught early. This is one of many reasons why routine dental checkups are so important.

What Types of Filling Materials Are Available?

In modern dentistry, there are a wide variety of filling materials to choose from. These include;

  • Composite resin
  • Porcelain
  • Gold
  • Amalgam

What Type of Filling is Best?

Your Platinum Dental dentist will help you choose which filling is best suited for you. The type of material used is often determined by where the filling needs to be placed and the extent of the repair required.

To schedule your routine dental exam and cleaning, call Platinum Dental today or request an appointment online.

Types of Filling Material


Amalgam is a compund of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and Mercury. Mercury comprises nearly 50% of the mixture.


Amalgam is very robust and can withstand the forces of chewing.
They are usually less costly than other materials.
Amalgam does not disintegrate. Some patients have had their amalgam fillings 30+ years!


Amalgam is very visible and will not match the color of your teeth.
Amalgam fillings can cause staining of the surrounding tooth structure
Requires more of your tooth to be removed before the Amalgam can be applied.
Some people are concerned about the effects of Mercury found in Amalgam. Current research shows that Amalgam fillings are perfectly safe for use.

Composite Resin


Your fillings will match the color of your teeth.
Composite fillings are able to directly bond to the tooth. This allows for a stronger filling in comparison to Amalgam.
Less removal of your tooth is required compared to Amalgam fillings, so less drilling is involved.
Indirect composite fillings and inlays are heat-cured. This step increases its strength.


Composite resins cost more than amalgam fillings.

Cast Gold


Gold does not corrode.
Some people like the Gold colour.
Gold is the strongest material of choice that can be used in the mouth.


It can be costly due to the high price of gold and the extra work involved.
Gold fillings are not tooth-colored.



Ceramics can perfectly match the colour of your teeth.
Ceramics are far resistant to abrasion and staining than composite resin.
Ceramic inlays and onlays can be an alternative to crowning a tooth.


Ceramic inlays and onlays are often larger than composite fillings.

To schedule your routine dental exam and cleaning, call Platinum Dental today or request an appointment online.

How do I know if I have a cavity?

Most cavities present with no symptoms. However, if left untreated, the cavity can reach deep into your tooth and root canals, causing severe pain and inflammation.

How did I get a cavity?

Several factors can cause cavities, including:

  • Having a high sugar diet; drinking lots of fizzy drinks and eating food that’s bad for your teeth.
  • Erosion of the gum line can expose your tooth to increased bacteria.
  • Not getting sufficient fluoride treatment when young.
  • Not flossing between teeth.

Why should I fill my cavity?

If a cavity is left untreated, the decay can spread and lead to further infection and tooth loss.

Cavity filling at Platinum Dental involves a few simple steps:

  • Using anesthesia to numb the target area
  • Removal of the decay
  • Cleaning the cavity
  • Applying the agreed-upon filling material
  • Sealing the filling in place
  • Polishing the filling so that it is both smooth and natural looking

How will my tooth feel after having a cavity filled?

You may find that your filled tooth is slightly sensitive to heat or cold over the next couple of days after your procedure. Don’t worry, this is natural. You should treat your filled tooth like any other and continue to brush and floss around it.

What if I don’t want to fill my cavity?

Delaying treatment can cause several worsening effects which include infection, more severe tooth pain, increased sensitivity, and possibly the eventual loss of the tooth.

It is almost always more effective and cheaper to treat a medical condition early rather than delay. Fillings are a safe, easy, and cost-effective way to treat cavities.

How long do fillings last?

A filling should protect your teeth for a number of years, but this can vary depending on the habits of the patient. The team at Platinum Dental recommends that you continue routine dental checkups every six months. Regular visits to the dentist will help ensure the longevity of your filling and is the best preventative measure to reduce future dental work.

Can I prevent cavities?

The best method to prevent cavities is a combination of eating a diet that is not excessive in sugar, brushing and flossing at least twice a day and having regular dental examinations.

To schedule your routine dental exam and cleaning, call Platinum Dental today or request an appointment online.