Understanding Dentistry: Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings are white or metal-based covers which are used to restore the surface of a tooth. A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay and caries back to its normal function. This dental procedure is done to stop further erosion, pain or stopping the decay of the tooth. Moreover, dental fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth.

During this dental treatment, a dentist removes the decayed tooth part, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out the cavity with a filling material. Dental Fillings are usually done by a restorative or general dentist.

Materials used for dental fillings include porcelain, gold, composite resin or amalgam. A filling can help prevent further decay by closing off the spaces where bacteria can enter.

How does the procedure look like?

Once a dentist decides to fill a cavity, firstly, he needs to remove the part of the tooth damaged by decay and also clean the affected area. Most of the dentists will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the treated tooth.

The cleaned-out cavity will be filled with porcelain, gold, a composite resin or amalgam. The choice of instrument depends on the individual dentist’s comfort level, experience or clinic investment into facilities and equipment.

Are you planning to go for dental treatment abroad? See this Dental Guide, to learn how to choose a dentist abroad?

When do you need a dental filling?

Your dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled during a regular checkup. During the dental examination, a dentist will use a small mirror to see the surfaces of each tooth.

If something looks abnormal, he or she will closely check it with special instruments. Nowadays, many dentists use also Xray to see the extent of damage in your mouth.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large part of the tooth, different dental treatment may be recommended, for instance, dental crown, root canal therapy, or pulp capping.

Types of fillings

Nowadays, you can choose from several materials as gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (the mixture of silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or tooth-coloured, plastic, materials called composite resin fillings or glass ionomer.

Patients usually decide what filling is the best choice for them according to the type and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, insurance, and dentist’s recommendation.

Amalgam Fillings

The amalgam filling is a combination of several metallic elements and therefore they are very noticeable when you laugh or smile. These fillings are among the least expensive of all materials. Amalgam fillings are strong and are therefore ideal for filling cavities in the back of the mouth such as in the molars. This type of fillings has been used by the dentist for more than a century.

Composite Fillings

This type of filling is also fairly durable and it is placed in areas which perform moderate chewing. It is ideal for small-to-mid-size restorations. These fillings feature a combination of glass or quartz filler and can be made to match the colour of your tooth.


Gold fillings can cost as much as 10 times more than silver amalgam fillings, but some people prefer the appearance of gold to silver fillings if they want the durability of metal. Some people don’t like the appearance of metal fillings, but metal fillings can last as long as 10-15 years. Gold or silver amalgam is the most common metals used for a cavity filling.


A ceramic filling can be nearly as expensive as a gold cavity filling. A ceramic cavity filling, which is usually made of porcelain is tooth-colour.

Glass Ionomer

This blend of acrylic and glass is used to create a cavity filling that releases fluoride to help protect teeth. This type may need to be replaced in as little as five years.

Choosing a suitable clinic 

Choosing a suitable dental clinic for Dental Fillings starts with a correct dental diagnostics usually involving a bitewing x-ray, OPG x-ray or CT-scan and bite analysis supported by the experience of a dentist and their specialised dental team. The treatment should be performed in a dental clinic using proven, high-grade tooth filling materials.

Are you planning to go for medical treatment abroad? See these 5 tips on how to prepare for your first treatment abroad.

Treatment Time 

The time involved with patients needing Dental Fillings typically ranges from 15 minutes to three hours depending on how many tooth fillings are done and the type of material used. Once you are looking for the right clinic, it is worth to look at reported patient feedback from patients who undertake this dental treatment.

Dental Fillings are done in many regular dental clinics, it is also worthwhile looking at the level of comfort and extra services provided in your chosen dental clinic. Dental Fillings should be expected to last 5-20 years, and a 2-year guarantee is expected in most of the leading dental clinics.

How long does it last?

Tooth fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced, but it also depends on the materials used. If you notice signs of wear on your tooth fillings, such as cracks or worn areas, see your dentist have the filling replaced as soon as possible.

Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair that is more expensive and more complicated than a simple cavity filling. If additional tooth decay develops around a filling, whether or not the filling is damaged, your dentist may choose to repair the tooth with a crown instead of a second cavity filling.

Patient outcomes for dental fillings

Dental Fillings restore the surface of a tooth to protect the tooth root, eliminate pain and sensitivity, eat normally and have an improved aesthetic appearance. However, some problems with dental fillings may appear:

Filling Allergies

The patient may suffer from allergic reactions to silver or amalgam fillings. Symptoms of amalgam allergy are similar may include skin rashes and itching.

Tooth Pain and Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity following placement of a filling is actually very common. A tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods, or temperature. Usually, the sensitivity resolves on its own within a few weeks. If not, you should contact your dentist.

Deteriorating Fillings

This may happen from constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause dental fillings. You may not be able to tell that a filling is wearing down, but your dentist can identify this issue during a regular check-up.

Success rates 

GCR looks at the long-term survival rate of Dental Fillings in patients and if the patient is continually free of pain, able to chew and pleased with the aesthetics. US average cost for Dental Fillings: 88%-90%

Cost of dental fillings

US average cost of Dental Fillings: $120-$300. Results were taken from our 2017 assessment of 127,000 dental clinics who offer tooth crowns in 126 countries where tooth crowns are provided.

Here you can see the prices in the popular dental tourism destinations:

Poland – 35 € – 70 €,

Costa Rica – 25 € – 80 €,

UAE – from 70 €,

Mexico – 30 € – 70 €,

Thailand – 12 €- 40 €

Top Clinics Worldwide – Dental Fillings

  1. Dentocare Dental & Implant Centre (India)
  2. FMS Dental Hospitals (India)
  3. Polyclinic Rident – Rijeka (Croatia)
  4. Tooth & Go Dental Clinic (Philippines)
  5. Goodness Dental (Costa Rica)
  6. HD Dental (Hungary)
  7. Helvetic Clinics (Hungary)
  8. Centrum Stomatologii Luxdentica (Poland)
  9. Gerochi Dental & Implant Center (Philippines)
  10. Medic8 (Lebanon)

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