Dental Fillings FAQ's

Are You a Candidate for Mercury Filling Replacements?

You are a candidate for a mercury filling replacement if: 

  1. You are worried about the health risks linked with mercury fillings
  2. You experience any pain or sensitivity on old fillings
  3. You are not satisfied with the silver appearance of mercury fillings
  4. You want to replace mercury fillings
  5. You notice discoloration, cracks or holes in your fillings
  6. Your dentist has asked you for a replacement of your old fillings.

How Are Fillings Done?

The first step involves numbing the decayed or damaged tooth by injecting local anesthesia. The dentist confirms once you are numb and then removes the decay with the help of a dental drill. 

After removal of decay, the dentist readies your tooth for a filling or restoration. Acid gel cleans the remaining debris or bacteria, and then filling material is poured to fill the gaps or cavity. 

Why do I need to have a filling?

A dental filling becomes necessary if you have a decayed tooth. If you leave them unfilled, then as the cavity expands, your dental health will worsen. It may lead to loss of bone and, finally, tooth extraction. 

What can I expect after I receive a filling?

After you have received a filling, you are likely to experience: 

  • Ache or discomfort in your teeth, especially if exposed to hot or cold liquids, cold air, etc.
  • Tender gums
  • Pain or discomfort in the teeth adjacent to the filling
  • Pain while clenching teeth
  • Pain in the repaired tooth while brushing, flossing or eating

Risks of dental fillings

Potential complications and risks of dental fillings are as follows: 

  • Anaesthetic complications like an allergic reaction
  • Cavity development around filling
  • Shrinkage or expansion of filling
  • Mouth injury
  • The possible damage is done to the adjacent teeth during the filling procedure.
  • Teeth sensitivity to cold and heat in the damaged tooth

How long do dental fillings last?

Generally, a dental filling lasts for 7 to 20 years, depending on the location or area of the filling, your oral and dental hygiene, and the size of the filling. 

This means you must visit your dentists once every six months to avoid any serious dental issues. 

What do dentists use for fillings?

Dentists use several filling materials. The materials available for filling are porcelain, gold, silver amalgam (consisting of silver, mercury, tin, copper, zinc), the plastic of tooth-colour, and other materials such as composite resin filling. 

Do dental fillings hurt?

The procedure for dental filling is easy and comfortable. It usually doesn't hurt at all. However, you might feel discomfort or pain after the filling is done. Extreme sensitivity in your tooth or gums may persist for two to 4 weeks. If it still does not get better after four weeks, consult your dentist. 

What happens if you don't fill a cavity?

If you leave your cavity unfilled, the cavities might grow and allow harmful bacteria to enter deeper into your tooth, resulting in a further increase in the cavity size, and may crack your tooth after a point. 

The untreated cavity may even damage your nerve and cause you severe pain. If the cavity reached the root, cavity filling would not repair it; you will have to apply a different procedure like an extraction or root canal, which are painful procedures. 

An unfilled cavity can also lead to infections which may cause your jaw or gums to swell, and they become extremely painful. 

Can I eat after getting a filling?

This depends on the filling: 

  1. Amalgam filling normally takes up to 24 hours or more to completely harden and attain maximum strength. Hence, you can not chew food for at least 24 hours on the side where the filling is done. 
  2. Composite filling (white fillings or tooth-coloured fillings) usually hardens immediately when the dentist places UV light over it. Hence, dentists may ask you to wait for at least two hours before eating if you are still numb. 

Does filling make your teeth weaker?

In many studies, researchers found that getting a dental filling can escalate the chances of tooth decay in the adjacent teeth. In a few cases, fillings were not a cure for tooth decay but more like a stop-gap. Around 60 percent of patients faced decay of the dentine or enamel, and 40 percent of the healthy adjacent teeth remained free from decay. 

Can I have a filling without an injection?

A new pain-free dental filling has been developed that repairs cavities without any injections or drilling. The tooth-building procedure encourages teeth by allowing them to repair themselves. 

Can I leave a cavity untreated?

If you have a cavity, usually they do not hurt unless they expand and become larger. When it becomes so large that it starts to affect your nerves and fractures your tooth, that's when an untreated cavity starts to pain. It may also damage the pulp. 

Is it cheaper to pull or fill a tooth?

It is quite natural to think that filling a tooth is more expensive than pulling out a tooth. But the truth is that tooth replacements cost more money and time, and if you choose to replace them, it is likely to have emotional and physical costs. 


Our Location

We are located inside of the North Oakville Medical Building beside the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital by the intersection of Dundas and Third Line.
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