Dental Fillings

Have you been suffering from a toothache or sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures? It could be a sign that you have a cavity. To treat this common dental issue, your dentist may recommend getting a dental filling (also called teeth filling).

Dental fillings are used to restore teeth damaged by decay or cavities. This dental restoration procedure involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with a material to prevent further damage and restore the tooth’s function.

At Dentistry in Waterloo, we offer various dental filling options to accommodate our patients’ needs and preferences. Our skilled and experienced dentists will work with you to determine the best solution for your specific case.

Types of Teeth Fillings

Amalgam Fillings (Silver Fillings)

These fillings are durable and resistant to wear, making them suitable for the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. They are made from a mixture of metals: mercury, silver, tin, and copper. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than resin composites and are not usually used in visible areas, such as front teeth.

Composite Fillings (Tooth-Colored or White Fillings)

A dental composite filling is made from a resin composed of plastic and fine glass particles. It can be matched to the same color as your teeth and is more aesthetically pleasing. A tooth composite filling is most appropriate for small-to-mid-size fillings and is good for the front or visible parts of teeth.

Ceramic Fillings

Made of porcelain, these fillings are both durable and aesthetically pleasing. They are often more expensive than other types, but they are tooth-colored and more resistant to staining and wear than composite resin.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

These fillings are made from a combination of acrylic and a specific type of glass. They’re less durable than other types, so they’re often used for children whose teeth are still changing. They release fluoride, which can help protect against further tooth decay.

Gold Fillings

Also known as inlays or onlays, gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place by your dentist. While they are often the most expensive choice, many people choose gold fillings for their durability and because they can be considered more aesthetically pleasing than silver amalgam fillings.

Benefits of Dental Fillings

  • Stops the Cavity from Growing. Fillings are used to “fill” an area of the tooth that your dentist has removed due to decay. This helps to stop the cavity from spreading and causing further damage.
  • Restores Function of Broken Teeth. Tooth fillings can also be used to repair broken teeth or teeth that have been ground down by conditions like bruxism.
  • Improves Tooth Structure. Fillings improve the structure of the teeth by providing them with the necessary support.
  • Strengthens Fractured Teeth. Dental fillings can strengthen fractured teeth, preventing further damage and maintaining tooth integrity.
  • Prevents Infection. If you need dental work like a root canal performed across several visits, a temporary tooth filling can be placed to prevent infection.
  • Improves Bite Function. A filling not only seals a cavity but helps to even out the surface of the tooth and improve your bite function.
  • Provides a Natural Appearance. Some types of fillings, such as composite resin, match the natural tooth color, providing a more aesthetic result. 
  • Cost-Effective Than Other Tooth Restorations. Dental fillings are relatively inexpensive compared to other restorative treatments like dental implants or crowns.

Reasons to Get Dental Fillings 

Some of the clear indicators that you need dental fillings include:

  • Tooth Sensitivity. If you feel discomfort or pain in your teeth when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, it could be a sign that you need this dental treatment.
  • Toothache or Spontaneous Pain. An ongoing or sudden toothache without an apparent cause may mean you have decayed teeth that require a dental filling treatment.
  • Visible Holes or Pits in Teeth. Cavities might have developed if you notice visible indentations in your teeth. The only way to fix the problem is by getting fillings.
  • Dark Spots or Stains. Noticeable dark areas on your teeth might be another sign of tooth decay.
  • Chipped or Broken Teeth. As a result of injury or wear, chipped teeth might need a filling to restore their integrity.
  • Food Getting Stuck Regularly. If certain spots between your teeth consistently trap food, it can be due to gaps that a filling can fix.

Worn-Out Previous Filling. Fillings are durable but not permanent. If an existing filling breaks, you may need to visit a dentist to replace it with a new one.

How Do Dental Fillings Work?

Here’s what you can typically expect from the process:

  • Examination. Our dentist first examines the teeth to identify any signs of decay or damage. This can involve the use of a small mirror and other dental instruments, and in some cases, X-rays might be taken. It also involves examining the shape and condition of your bite and contact between teeth.
  • Anesthesia. Local anesthesia is usually administered to numb the area around the tooth to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  • Removal of Decay. Our dentist uses a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument to remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth.
  • Cleaning the Cavity. Once the decay has been removed, our dentist will clean the cavity to remove bacteria and debris.
  • Filling the Cavity. The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with the chosen filling material (amalgam, composite resin, gold, ceramic, etc.). If a bonded filling is used, our dentist will etch the tooth with acid gel before applying the filling.
  • Polishing. After the filling has been placed, our dentist will then finish and polish the tooth.

It’s important to note that while dental fillings are durable, they may need to be replaced eventually. Regular checkups are necessary to monitor the condition of fillings and the overall health of your mouth.

How Often Should I Replace My Dental Fillings?

The lifespan of dental fillings can vary greatly depending on the material used and proper care. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Resin Fillings. These may need to be replaced every seven to 10 years.
  • Amalgam Fillings. These often last for about 15 years before needing replacements, but longevity can vary depending on several factors.
  • Composite Fillings. You can expect these to last between 5 and 15 years.
  • Gold Fillings. These can last between 15 to 30 years.
  • Porcelain and Ceramic Fillings. These can also last between 15 to 30 years.

These are average lifespans and the actual time can vary based on several factors, including your oral hygiene habits, diet, and even the technique of the dentist who placed the filling.

Regular dental check-ups are crucial to monitor the condition of your fillings and determine when they might need to be replaced.

Why Choose Dentistry in Waterloo for Your Dental Fillings

  • High-Quality Dental Services. Our dedication to quality means we carefully choose our dental materials and employ the latest techniques in dental care. We understand each patient has unique needs, so we tailor our treatments to ensure the best outcomes.
  • State-of-the-Art Dental Equipment. At Dentistry in Waterloo, we’ve invested in modern technology to provide quality and comfortable treatments. This ensures we can provide high-quality dental care, including fillings and other treatment options.
  • Experienced and Professional Dental Team. Our team has years of dental experience and is highly dedicated to ongoing dental education and training. It helps us remain at the forefront of dental practice, offering you the most advanced care.
  • Patient-Focused Approach. We believe that the best dental care is considerate of the patient’s overall experience. From the moment you step into our office, you’ll be greeted by a warm and friendly staff in a calming and supportive environment. Also, we take the time to listen to your concerns, explain your options, and ensure you’re comfortable throughout your treatment.
  • Calming and Inviting Dental Office. We’ve designed our dental office to be a safe space from the stresses of daily life, creating a positive and relaxing atmosphere where you can feel at ease discussing your dental health concerns and receiving care.

Improve Your Oral Health and Achieve a Beautiful Smile Though Dental Fillings

At Dentistry in Waterloo, we understand that dental fillings are more than just a treatment for tooth decay. They can also improve the overall appearance of your smile and boost your confidence. Our team is committed to helping you achieve a beautiful and healthy smile through our high-quality dental services.

If you have any concerns about your teeth or suspect you may need dental fillings, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our team will conduct a thorough examination and provide you with personalized treatment options to help you achieve optimal oral health.

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Since providing compassionate care is our main objective, we strive to ensure that our patients feel at ease. The environment of our dental clinic is relaxing. The first impression many patients get when they walk in is that they have walked into a spa. 

A comfortable surrounding paired with a team that is kind and personable; each one of our team members show that not only do we care for you, but we also care about you. This is shown by going the extra mile to make sure that we meet your needs and expectations at all of your appointments. Our team will do everything they can to accommodate you and guide you towards a healthy and happy smile.

Dentistry in Waterloo Office interior and logo sign mounted on the wall


We know you have many choices when choosing a Dentist in Waterloo, Ontario so we have made requesting an appointment a simple process via our Web site. If, for any reason you cannot keep a scheduled appointment, or will be delayed, please call us as soon as possible.

Insurance and Billing

At our fee-for-service office, we go above and beyond to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience for our patients. Payment is required at the end of your appointment, but we take care of the rest. Once your visit is complete, we handle the entire insurance claim process for you, submitting it electronically to save you time and effort. If you have direct deposit set up with your insurance provider, your reimbursement will be deposited into your bank account within a couple of days. Otherwise, your insurance carrier will mail the cheque to your registered address.

We strongly encourage setting up direct deposit if you have not already done so, as it will expedite the reimbursement process. Please feel free to inquire about how to proceed with this option. We are here to help!


If you are unable to keep an appointment, we ask that you kindly provide us with at least 48 clinic business hours’ notice. A fee may be charged if a patient does not show up for an appointment without sufficient notice.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing our practice for your dental care.

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