What is the Procedure for Filling a Cavity in your Teeth?

What is the Procedure for Filling a Cavity in your Teeth?

Feb 01, 2021

Poor oral hygiene and the consumption of sugary and sticky foods can cause tooth decay. When sugary foods stick on the surfaces of your enamel and decay, they produce acids that promote the development of cavities. If the dental cavities are not treated at an early stage, you might be at risk of developing further complications such as root canal infection and gum disease.

Therefore, if you start developing signs of dental cavities, you should consider visiting your dentist for treatments. At the dental clinic, your dentist might recommend tooth fillings. Dental fillings can improve the function, bite and appearance of the tooth. Since most dental cavities patients suffer tooth sensitivity, fillings would come in handy.

Steps of Filling a Cavity

There are two significant steps of filling a dental cavity which include:

Consultation and Planning

When you need treatments for cavities, the dentist will recommend a consultation appointment first. During the dental appointment, the dentist will check your teeth and determine which treatment option is best for your condition. For badly-decayed teeth or extensive cavities, the dentist might recommend a tooth extraction.

On the other hand, dental fillings would be suitable to treat minor cavities and fractures. Once you are cleared to get tooth fillings, the dentist will inspect your teeth using a dental probe to identify the problematic areas. Alternatively, the dentist might use caries detecting liquid.

For further investigations, a dental x-ray will help determine the precise location and severity of the dental cavities.

There are several material options that your dentist can use to fill your cavities. Some of the material that the dentist might use to seal tooth cavities include composite resin, glass ionomer, silver amalgam and gold Inlays or Onlays.

The material that the dentist uses to fill the grooves depends on your preferences. Sometimes, the dentist might a type of tooth filling, depending on the location and the functions of the tooth. If you need a filling on the front teeth, the dentist might recommend tooth-coloured fillings, for smile aesthetics.

Filling the Cavity

After the consultation, the dentist will develop a custom treatment plan to fit your dental needs. The first step of filling a cavity is administering local anaesthesia to numb the tooth. Numbing the affected area will increase the comfort of the patient throughout the procedure.

Next, your dentist in Billerica, MA, will prepare the damaged or decayed tooth for restoration. To remove the damaged parts of the tooth, the dentist might use a hand-held dental device or a laser one. The dentist will then use an acid gel to cleanse the debris and bacteria. Once the cavity is free from debris and bacteria, the dentist will apply the tooth filling material.

When using composite material, the dentist will isolate the tooth from moisture using a dental dam. Alternatively, the dentist will place adhesives before applying the filling material. After applying the filling material, the dentist will use a special light to harden the material. Finally, your dentist will polish the tooth and recommend follow-up appointments.


Follow-up dental visits after a tooth filling aim to check the progress of the tooth restoration. During the follow-up visits, the dentist will advise you on preventing tooth decay underneath and near the dental filling. Following the dentist instructions might help you prevent decay on the other teeth.

Some of the preventive dental care tips that your dentist might recommend, include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste to prevent the accumulation of plaque and strengthen the teeth surfaces
  • Floss your teeth regularly to remove plaque and tartar
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral exams and cleanings
  • Use fluoride rinses to harden the enamels, especially for people at high risk of tooth decay

Benefits of Tooth Fillings

Tooth fillings have several benefits. At One Dental Care, we recommend dental fillings for the following reasons:

  • Tooth fillings have a long lifespan and can last up to 15 years with proper aftercare
  • Modern tooth feelings, such as glass ionomers can release fluoride which reduces the risk of cavities
  • Your tooth restorations can match your natural teeth’ colour, enhancing smile aesthetics
  • The dental restorations can improve your tooth structure and functionality
  • Prevents infections by sealing the tooth cavities