Fillings/ Dental Restorations

When you go to the dentist, there are a couple ways that he can determine whether or not you have a cavity. If you have a cavity on the exposed teeth, the dentist can use a pick on the tooth. If the tooth is soft, there is a cavity there. It is also possible to get cavities on the part of the tooth that is not exposed. In order to see these areas of the teeth, an x-ray is taken. Cavities will show up on the x-rays and the dentist will know where the problem is.


After the dentist has diagnosed the cavity, he will need to repair it. The way this is done is with dental fillings. The dental filling will fill in the hole in the tooth. Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. Dental fillings are used in patients of any age.

Typically, there are two materials that dentists use to fill the cavities in the teeth. The first type are amalgam fillings. These fillings are commonly made up of mercury, zinc, copper, silver, or tin. Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for over one hundred eighty years. When the metals in the material come together, they are soft. After the dentist places the material in the cavity, it will begin to harden. It will become as hard as the tooth that it is filling. This type of dental filling is typically used for back teeth and parts of the teeth that are not visible when smiling.


The other type of dental filling that is commonly used are composite fillings. These fillings are white, making them not noticeable when the cavity is on a front, very visible tooth. The consistency of this type of filling is the same consistency as modeling clay. After the dentist applies the composite filling to the tooth, he shines a bright blue light on it. This light causes a series of chemical reactions causing the filling to harden. After the composite filling has hardened, it will be as hard as your tooth and will also be the same color as your other teeth.


Getting dental fillings is a very routine procedure. The procedure is relatively painless and will keep your smile looking great for years to come.

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