If you have a cavity and it needs a filling, there are different kinds of fillings to do the job.

Our dentists care about you and your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about fillings, talk to one of our dentists. They will advise you on the type of filling that works best in your particular case, and inform you about the aesthetic and cost implications for each type.

Before you get a filling, tell the dentist about changes to your health since your last visit:
- Are you taking medicine?
- Do you have allergies?
- Are you pregnant?

There are several different types of fillings that can be used to fill a cavity, but the final decision on which type of filling is placed in your mouth is yours alone.

How Fillings Are Done

To fill a cavity, the dentist will first give you "freezing" (or local anaesthetic), so you do not feel any pain. The dentist then takes out all traces of decay, shapes the tooth and fills it.

Most fillings are done in one of two ways:

1. Direct Filling - These fillings go right into the cavity of the tooth, after the dentist has cleaned out the decay. Amalgam (or silver) fillings and plastic (or white) fillings are examples of direct fillings. They harden quickly. Most of the time, you will be able to have a direct filling put in place in one appointment.

2. Indirect Filling - Examples of this type of filling are crowns (or caps) and inlays. They are custom made in a lab to fit your tooth. The dentist cements the filling in place. Most indirect fillings take two or more appointments to complete.

Dental amalgam is the best-known direct material. Cast gold alloy is the most durable indirect material. However, ceramics are gaining in popularity because of their longevity relative to other tooth-coloured materials.

Remember, our dentists are interested in you and your oral health. If you are concerned about having any particular dental restorative materials placed in your teeth, talk to your dentist and be a partner in decisions about your oral health care.