What is a Filling?

If tooth decay is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary. A filling is a more cost-effective treatment with a number of benefits, including:

  • Repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture or wear
  • Strengthens the tooth
  • Extends the life of the tooth

Why Do I Need a Filling?

A dentist will often recommend a filling in two situations. They are:

  • The surface enamel of a tooth is damaged due to decay, fracture, or wear.
  • A tooth’s surface needs to be evened out to improve your ability to bite or chew.

Warning Signs a Filling May Be Necessary

There are a number of warning signs that may indicate a filling will be necessary, including:

  • Tooth sensitivity to extreme hot or extreme cold temperatures can be an early warning sign of tooth decay
  • Pain when biting into food, bearing down or clenching the teeth
  • An ear ache, which can sometimes be referred pain from a toothache
  • Persistent headaches with no other cause

While there could be a number of reasons for this sensation, only your Dentist can diagnose its underlying cause. If a damaged tooth surface is not treated early, your discomfort will increase.

With proper care and dental hygiene, a filling has a lifespan of 5-12 years, depending upon the type of filling material used.