Patient Information:   Fillings


Fillings are used to fill holes (cavities) in your teeth. Holes in your teeth are usually as a result of decay or tooth wear. There are many types of filling, each suitable for different cavities.  Your dentist can discuss the most suitable filling for your mouth.

If a cavity is left un-treated the infection will eventually reach the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth.  Having a filling prevents this process, so stopping you loosing your tooth.

Most people have a local anaesthetic injection to completely numb the tooth while the filling is being done. The numbness can take a few hours to wear off.

The decayed and weakened parts of the tooth are removed using small drills.   Then the tooth has medicament placed where necessary and the tooth is filled.

Generally fillings can be separated into two type

1. Tooth coloured

2. Non tooth coloured

Amalgam fillings  (non tooth coloured)

Amalgam fillings are made of a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury. Amalgam is extremely durable and able to withstand the grinding and chewing of your back teeth over long periods of time.  An amalgam filling does not glue the tooth together.  It is held in place by cutting a retentive shape into the tooth.   

Tooth-coloured fillings

You can choose tooth-coloured fillings to match the colour of your teeth, making them a natural-looking alternative to amalgam fillings.  They are often used in teeth that show when you smile or talk. They aren't as durable as amalgam and so aren't always suitable for the grinding and chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

Tooth-coloured fillings must be kept completely dry while they set so the dentist will take special precautions to keep your saliva away from the area. This may include placing a sheet of rubber over your tooth (called a rubber dam) or using cotton wool rolls.  

Any fillings can cause teeth to become sensitive this usually gets better with time if the tooth remains sensitive for over 6 weeks the tooth needs to be dressed with oil of cloves to help it overcome the inflammation causing the tooth sensitivity.

Adapted from

 “ When a tooth has bacteria with in its structure, a hole or cavity develops.  Having a filling I the process of removing the bacteria and damaged tooth structure and reconstructing the the tooth. It is a mini exercise in engineering.  With tight budget NHS dental clinics can struggle to afford the use of the latest filling materials.  We provide the latest materials and techniques as a cost effective alternative to NHS dentistry.”


    Bare Dental Clinic

     patient information