What Is the Procedure for Filling a Cavity?

What Is the Procedure for Filling a Cavity?

Do you ever feel a twinge of pain in your tooth when biting into something sweet or cold? Or perhaps you've noticed tiny black spots on your teeth that weren't there before. These could be signs of dental cavities, a common oral health issue that affects millions of people worldwide.

Filling a cavity is an important step in maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing further damage to the affected tooth. By filling the cavity, dentists remove the decayed material and restore the strength and functionality of the tooth. This not only alleviates any pain or discomfort but also prevents bacterial growth within the cavity.

Types of Filling Materials

When it comes to filling a cavity, there are several options for the type of material that can be used. Each has its own advantages and considerations. Let's take a closer look at some common types of filling materials.

  • We have amalgam fillings. These are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are known for their durability and resistance to wear, making them ideal for use in back teeth where chewing forces are greater.
  • Another popular option is composite fillings. These are made from a tooth-colored resin material that can be matched to the shade of your natural teeth. Composite fillings provide an aesthetic solution as they blend seamlessly with your smile. They also bond directly to the tooth structure, which helps strengthen it.
  • Gold fillings may not be as commonly used today, but they still offer some advantages in certain situations. Gold is highly durable and long-lasting, making it suitable for large cavities or areas with heavy biting forces.

It's important to note that each type of filling material has its own pros and cons depending on factors such as cost, location in the mouth, personal preference, and dental health needs. The choice often depends on the discussion between you and your dentist, who will recommend what suits you best based on these factors.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Fill a Cavity

Step 1: Preparation for the procedure

Before filling a cavity, your dentist will first ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed. They may apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth. This helps to minimize any potential discomfort during the procedure.

Step 2: Numbing the affected area

Once your dentist has numbed the area, they will use a dental drill or laser to remove any decayed material from the tooth. This step is crucial in preventing further damage and infection.

Step 3: Removing decayed tooth material

After removing all traces of decay, your dentist will thoroughly clean and disinfect the cavity to prevent bacteria from spreading. They may also shape the cavity to create space for the filling material.

Step 4: Cleaning and shaping the cavity

Next comes filling up that empty space! Your dentist will carefully choose an appropriate filling material based on various factors such as the location of the cavity, size of the cavity, and personal preference.

Step 5: Filling the cavity

There are different types of materials used for dental fillings, including amalgam (a mixture of metals), composite resin (tooth-colored), and gold. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which can be discussed with your dentist before deciding on one.

Remember, proper aftercare is essential for maintaining a healthy smile! Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits can help prolong the durability of fillings while preventing future cavities. So take good care of those pearly whites!

To learn more about good oral care practices, get in touch with Dr. Steven Go of OC Dental Arts by calling us at (714) 779-7700.


5779 E La Palma Ave,
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

Office Hours

MON - TUE9:00 am - 5:30 pm


THU9:00 am - 5:30 pm


SATBy appointments only