What is a filling?

A filling is a way to return the damaged tooth back to its normal function and shape.

Dental fillings are one of the most commonly performed dental procedures across the world and researchers have recently found a filling made out of beeswax, which is estimated to be approximately 6500 years old.

Why do I need fillings?

Only your dentist will know if you need a cavity filled as not all decay causes pain. During your visit, your dentist will use a small mirror to see if you have any wear or decay on your teeth. Symptoms of tooth decay can include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Toothaches
  • Pain whilst chewing
  • Sensitivity
  • Throbbing sensation in your gums

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, even slightly, you should book an appointment with Redlands Gentle Dental Care. Treating the problem early can be the difference between a simple filling and a more complicated root canal treatment.

White composite fillings

Formerly, amalgam or silver fillings were used to treat patients with cavities but today white or composite fillings are used. They are used for two main reasons; the cosmetic appearance and also they require less healthy tooth structure to be removed.

The main issue with old amalgam fillings is that they require a healthy tooth structure to be drilled away and the filling doesn’t completely fill the cavity, which allows further decay to progress.

Composite fillings on the other hand, fully seal off the cavity meaning no space for decay to form underneath the filling. However, this does not stop your tooth from decay; you still need to take good care of your oral health.

What happens when you get a filling?

Composite fillings can be completed in just one appointment depending on your individual case and how many teeth are being treated. Each filling takes around 15 minutes depending on how quick your anaesthesia takes effect.

Step 1.

Your dentist will give you some local anaesthetic to numb the entire area to stop pain.

Step 2.

Your dentist will drill away any decay and begin to shape the tooth for the filling.

Step 3.

Once your dentist has removed all the decay, they will place the filling in the cavity. If the cavity is particularly deep your dentist may place a liner in front of the filling to protect the tooth nerve. An ultraviolet light is used to set the composite material, giving you the appearance of a natural and complete tooth.

Step 4.

When the filling has been positioned, your dentist will then polish the tooth.


Composite fillings are still susceptible to oral health issues like gum disease, trauma, decay and other oral health complications which means it’s important to take great care of your oral health.

Redlands Gentle Dental Care promotes regular six-month check-ups to ensure your continued oral health. If you would like to make an appointment to have a check-up get in contact with our friendly team today.


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