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 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.


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


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


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

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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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I have been a dental patient ever since DentalPlus was started by Dr Audrey Ng. Caring, patience professional competencies are hallmarks of the clinic. Have been treated by Dr Lynn n Dr Mabel. The latter , who did a dental crown for my molar, did a very good job. She is gentle, reassuring n explained every step in her procedures. The admin and nursing staff are also pleasant and courteous towards their patients. Well Done! 👍 👍.
Samantha Wong
Samantha Wong
Dr Mable is the best dentist I’ve ever met. She is gentle, patience, easy to talk to and passionate about providing care.
Katherine Soh
Katherine Soh
Dr Giselle Lim is wonderful. She is very clear in her communications and understands patients well. Both my husband and I love the way she cares for our teeth! The clinic assistant is also very good and gets our appointments booked easily online and with SMS reminders. Overall so glad I live near this dental clinic!
Rina Quek
Rina Quek
Lynn is patient, friendly and make every visit very pleasant.
Vincent Tai
Vincent Tai
Anita is really good with her pleasant voice & she's pretty articulate interacting with ppl. And Mabel is also v. patient & kind thru'out my treatment.. The rest of the staff also impressed me much with their positive vibe . Anyway thanks a zillion for a blessed experience altogether .
Matthias Hehn
Matthias Hehn
Very good care taken of my dental issues, local anaesthetic and advice - happy to have found this dentist
This is my second visit to Dentalplus in Telok Blangah. Dr. Mabel Chek was very pleasant, gentle and courteous dentist. I am glad as she will make an effort to explain practically every step of the dental procedure, ensuring that patients understand what will happen next. Also, the background music truly helps to relax throughout the dentist visit. Happy to be taken care by Dr Chek and her great team members.
brandon Tan
brandon Tan
A very professional dental clinic and whole dental cleaning process was very thorough

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