Dental Filling (Tooth Filling)

Teeth fillings are an early treatment to fill a hole or cavity in your tooth.

What is a tooth fillings?

Tooth filling is commonly used to restore badly worn-down, chipped or broken teeth caused by trauma, nail-biting or teeth grinding, or to treat a cavity due to decay. 

The procedure for a filling involves removing the decayed portion and replacing it with a tooth-coloured material. In some cases, the dentist may recommend the use of Local Anaesthetic if he/she anticipates that there may be some discomfort during the decay removal process.

 

White Cavity Fillings Procedure

Step 1: Check-up

We will check for signs of decay, the extent of the decay as well as cracks or fissures that could lead to decay in the future. If you need fillings or other treatment, our dentists will tell you. A dental x-ray can reveal your teeth’s condition.

dental injection

Step 2: Anaesthetic

If needed, the dentist will inject a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. A numbing gel on the gum may also be used to minimise discomfort from the injection itself.

dentist’s drill

Step 3: Removing Decay

Using a high-speed dentist’s drill, air abrasion tool, or laser, the dentist will remove any parts of the tooth damaged from decay. This should not hurt but you will feel the vibrations and pressure from the drill and other tools. The sound can be quite loud.

dental filling

Step 4: Dental Filling

An acid gel will be applied on the surface to make the bond stronger. After around 15 seconds, the gel is washed off leaving a roughened surface behind. The dentist then applies a thin layer of bonding agent to the surface about to be filled. The bonding agent is then cured with a blue light to harden them. Depending on how deep the filling is, the procedure may be in stages, hardening one layer at a time. It has a putty-like consistency before it’s cured, so the dentist can press it right into the cavity and mould it to the correct shape.

Step 5: Shaping & Polishing

Once the dental filling is in place and the material has hardened, your dentist will shape and polish it to match the original tooth as closely as possible.

Benefits

Benefits of Tooth Filling

Stops the hole from getting bigger
Your dentist will clean out the damaged part of your tooth before putting in a filling. The filling material will then be poured in, which will seal the hole made by the hollow. That keeps the nerve ends in your dentine from getting too hot from the food you eat or too acidic from the bacteria in your mouth. 
 
Improves the tooth’s shape
Composite fillings help to make your tooth stronger. Instead of the hole in the tooth getting bigger, the filling will give it the support it needs. Fillings are short-term fixes, so they don’t hurt your teeth.
 
Makes broken teeth stronger
You can fix a broken tooth with a filling. Often, a white blend is used for this. If you play sports or get into an accident that hurts your mouth, you could break one of your teeth. When you chew on hard things like ice or hard candy, you can also break your teeth.
 
As you get older, your teeth become less strong, making them more likely to break or chip.
 
Tooth fillings can make your teeth look better
Composite fillings are often used to fix damaged and badly stained teeth. The things you eat and drink, like coffee and red wine, can stain your teeth. Bad habits like grinding your teeth can also make them lose their natural color.
 
Keeps your teeth from getting cavities
Tiny holes form in your teeth, but they aren’t big enough to be called cavities. These holes tend to trap food and other debris, though. In the long run, these holes will cause the teeth to rot. They can be covered with a composite filling, which is good news.

Aftercare

How to care for a tooth after dental filling

Be Gentle
After tooth fillings, be gentle. The tooth and neighboring teeth will hurt after the treatment. To recover correctly, patients should not touch the tooth or area for a day.
 
Avoid sticky and hard foods
Post-dental filling eating can be challenging. This is normal. Generally advise against eating hard or sticky foods after the procedure to avoid pain. Candies, caramels, jerky, hard meats, and nuts may damage the newly filled tooth. After the procedure, eat eggs, yogurt, pudding, or smoothies.
 
Rinse twice
Rinse after dental fillings. Discomfort might result from food or debris. After a tooth filling, rinse with saltwater or an alcohol-free mouthwash. It also reduces dental filling-induced foul breath.
 
Take anti-inflammatories
Dental fillings can cause some discomfort, which is typical. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can relieve discomfort for a day or two. This reduces swelling and oral irritation.
 
Brush and floss
After a tooth filling, brush and floss before bed. Brush and floss gently even if the tooth hurts. General dentists recommend a very soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid discomfort.
 
Need dental fillings?
Ask a general dentist about dental filling aftercare. General dentists can offer advice. Ask questions or schedule a consultation today.

Dental Fillings – Frequently Asked Questions

For large fillings/fillings which are very deep (near the nerve), there can be some inflammation in the tooth making it more sensitive to contact.

Sensitivity can also be due to a high spot on the filling that needs adjusting or maybe the nerve is degenerating due to the close proximity of the cavity resulting in irreversible pulpits. Sometimes it’s just a reaction of the nerve to the work that was done around it.

New fillings can be sensitive to hot and cold liquids, and other foods for the first four to six weeks, after which the sensitivity usually decreases. This is especially when the filling is very large or deep (near the nerve). During the initial healing stages, you may take a painkiller. If the sensitivity continues for an extended period of time or if the discomfort is extreme, call your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation and prescribe appropriate therapy.

Typical symptoms of tooth decay (cavities) include:

  • pain when chewing
  • sensitivity to hot or cold food
  • bleeding around the tooth or gums
  • swelling around the tooth

When the tooth has an infection, it means that the nerve of the tooth (the pulp) is inflamed, usually as a result of dental decay. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Initially, this produces a short sharp pain brought on by hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks; at this stage, it is still reversible.

However, if left untreated, the inflammation progresses and become irreversible, and you may experience a throbbing pain of increasing severity. The pain usually lasts several minutes and can also occur spontaneously, particularly at night.

As irreversible pulpitis progresses, the pulp may die and you may experience some temporary relief of pain. However, bacterial infection of the dead pulp can cause a continuous intense pain that affects your sleep.

This can result in an abscess, which is a collection of pus, and you may notice a painful swelling on the gum next to the affected tooth or on the outside of the face. The tooth will be very painful to touch, and you may also feel unwell or have a fever.

Insurance & Subsidies

AIA dental Insurance

AIA

DentalPlus Clinic is an AIA accredited clinic. Patients with AIA Dental coverage can enjoy treatment under AIA coverage.

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Medisave dental claim

Medisave

We are CPF Medisave accredited for dental surgery. Approved procedures include wisdom teeth surgery, dental implants and biopsy.

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CHAS

We also provide subsidized co-payment inclusive to outpatient dental services under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). 

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Baby Bonus Scheme CDA

We are a Baby Bonus approved institution. Funds from CDA accounts can be used for dental treatment of the child and their siblings.

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Jennet Haling
Jennet Haling
23/03/2024
The dentists in the clinic are the best. They make you at ease and deliver quality service. I’ve been a patient/ client in this clinic since 2016. Even I moved house far from the clinic, I still do book my all my dental appointments here.
Benson Lee
Benson Lee
22/03/2024
The dentist provide great advise and pre notified me of which tooth or teeth is decaying or required attention. Receptionist is fast and pre book next appointment fast.
Elyn Teoh
Elyn Teoh
08/03/2024
Overall have a good experience and treatment with Dentalplus. Friendly peoples :)
Rosita Edwards
Rosita Edwards
29/02/2024
I am very happy with my dental experience at Dental Plus Clinic at Telok Blangah. Dr Therese was very professional and always smiling so gave me confidence as I really am paranoid just listening to the machine. She will ask me how I feel and to show my hand if I am uncomfortable. Dr Therese will also tell me what she is going to do beforehand. I am pleased that I have indeed found a dental clinic to take care of me. I am also please that their front desk representative is very kind and gentle too.
David Sam
David Sam
26/02/2024
The dentist has been very attentive, informing every step she will take. She also prompted me to hand up if feel discomfort. Throughout scaling, she was gentle in treatment. Highly recommended as a dental servicing place.
Ong Junxiang
Ong Junxiang
22/02/2024
Dentist (Dr. Mabel) and assistant were professional, friendly and meticulous in their work. Receptionist was polite and prompt. Timely reminders were also given well before the actual appointment date. Rescheduling process was also smooth and convenient. 5/5 👍
Abdul Jalil
Abdul Jalil
20/02/2024
To put it simple and straight forward, DentalPlus, a dental clinic you will feel safe to go to. From welcoming to experience to professionalism, service. Calm and smiling reception, very welcoming. Greeting and readily listening Dental Practitioner. Understands and confirms issue, explains in a easy to understand term, asks before proceeding to next procedure. It takes away the patient's anxiety of the dental treatment. Very assuring, taking time to treat you in best way possible. Made me feel at ease. No time or money wasted here and very pleased with the care and treatment received. The premise is immaculate. Will highly recommend DentalPlus to anyone at the next opportunity.
Sarah Bupe
Sarah Bupe
18/02/2024
Went to the clinic last week. I was attended by Dr Mabel. Found the whole experience rather pleasant even though i was in pain with a toothache. Dr Mabel was very clear with her explanations and gentle with her procedures. For once, my phobia for dentists diminished . Would definitely be going back to Dentalplus for my regular check ups.

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