Tooth Fillings

What are Tooth Fillings

Our daily intake of sugar creates an acidic environment that allows the mineral to escape our tooth, leaving a cavity behind. A cavity is a small hole in a tooth, which is the result of tooth decay. Tooth decay may spread throughout your teeth, causing long term damage if left untreated, or it can entail more extensive treatment such as root canal or the loss of the tooth.

Tooth fillings are used to replace the parts of the tooth that have been lost due to wear, decay or damage. The materials used for it are:

- Composite fillings, made of a resin and glass mixture. They provide durability and resistance to fracture that withstand moderate chewing pressure.

- Amalgam is made of a mixture of metals. They are recommended for restoring teeth further back in the mouth due to their dark colour.

- Glass ionomer is powdered glass, which forms a chemical bond with your tooth and may release fluoride that helps to prevent future decay.

Tooth Fillings

When is a Tooth Filling Needed?

If you have a toothache or another sensitivity, a sharp edge cutting your cheek or tongue, dark spots on your teeth or a rough, chipped or broken tooth, that may be a sign that you need to book an appointment with us at College Gate Dental Clinic for a check-up and possibly a tooth filling.

Unfortunately, what usually happens is that we become aware of decayed teeth when it’s too late, so it’s important that you call us when you notice these first signs.

Looking for more information on Tooth Fillings?

Am I suitable to get this treatment?

Dental fillings are recommended if the tooth has a smaller cavity or tooth decay that hasn’t yet reached the pulp of the tooth. Otherwise, you may need a root canal. Nevertheless, we at College Gate Dental Clinic will work with you to identify the cause of the decay and give you a personalised solution. 

Does filling the tooth hurt?

Not at all! You will feel no pain, as your dentist will numb the affected tooth and the gum surrounding it. In fact, a tooth filling will relieve pain, as it will seal away exposed nerve endings.

Broken & Chipped Teeth - can you fill a broken tooth?

Of course! Tooth fillings are to fill the holes (cavities) created by decay, cracks or accidental damage, to stop bacteria from getting in and to prevent the spread of any infections. The most commonly used material to fix broken or chipped teeth is composite resin.

Prevent Damage

Sharp or broken teeth can damage the inside of your mouth and tongue. A filling will prevent that.

Save your teeth

If you do not remove decay and get a professional tooth filling, you may lose your tooth, which can result to be very costly.

Stop pain

A broken tooth or decay can cause toothache and a filling will resolve this issue.

Restore functions

The filling will allow you to live a normal life and use your teeth as you previously did, chewing and biting properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Tooth Fillings?

Not at all! You will feel no pain, as your dentist will numb the affected tooth and the gum surrounding it. In fact, a tooth filling will relieve pain, as it will seal away exposed nerve endings. 

Biting exerts a great deal of pressure on the teeth, so it can result in pain. When doing so, consider taking your time, trying not to bite all the way through, chewing slowly on the opposite side of the filling, as well as avoiding nuts, hard candy or ice.

– Inlays and onlays. They are stronger than fillings. Inlays sit inside the hole or the tooth, and onlays sit over the top of the tooth, building up its shape. They are forms of tooth decay treatment used when a tooth has too much damage for a filling but isn’t at the point where it requires a crown. These treatments require two visits: first, we will remove tooth decay and previous filling material, as well as making an impression of the area and placing a temporary filling to protect the area until your second visit. We will use the impression to create the inlay or onlay. On the second visit, we are to remove your temporary filling and cement the custom inlay or onlay onto your teeth.

– Dental crowns. They are caps placed on top of a damaged tooth, and they protect and restore the shape of your teeth when fillings can’t solve the problem. They can be made of porcelain, metals or ceramics.

– Root canals. They are dental procedures to treat infection at the centre of a tooth: they remove bacteria from the infected root canal and prevent possible reinfection. Your dentist will eliminate the infected pulp and clean the inside of your tooth; then they will fill it and seal it.

Soft foods are best when you just had a filling, so in order to reduce sensitivity and ensure it stays intact, foods that may help are mashed potatoes, dairy products, soups, pasta, or even smoothies.

If it’s a new filling, dark spots are usually rough spots picking up some stain from your diet and needs to be taken care of. If you notice that or any chipping or darkening beneath your older filling, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. For an old filling, these may indicate that it needs to be replaced due to wear and tear developed underneath your filling and needs to be polished at your dentist.

Sensitivity to heat or cold after a tooth filling is expected for a week or two, so your dentist will prescribe you some painkillers and maybe antibiotics to avoid infection. Ongoing pain after two weeks is rare, and should this occur, you should seek advice by calling us.

If you have early cavities that haven’t yet affected the dentine and are still in the enamel outer layers, they may be resealed by applying high fluoride paint, which encourages the tooth to add mineral content. If your diet includes a great deal of sugar or you don’t take very good care of your oral health, a cavity may form close to your tooth surface. This problem can be solved by improving your habits, and decay may stop. This is known as “arrested decay”. However, if your cavity has progressed into the dentine, it needs to be filled. 

A filling is a treatment for a damaged tooth by decay (cavities) that restores it back while preventing further decay. It’s one of the most common procedures, so you don’t need to worry, especially if your oral health habits, like brushing and flossing daily, are in shape!

Tooth fillings fill in the space created by your dentist’s drill when they already removed areas of decay, thus preventing future tooth decay and tooth pain by preventing the cavity from trapping food debris and bacteria.

A filling normally takes 15 minutes to complete, depending on how long it takes for your anaesthesia to come into effect.

If you feel a metallic taste in your mouth, this could be a sign there is something wrong – most likely it’s caused by a loose filling – so it’s important that you take care of it as soon as possible. Your dentist must consider checking if your filling is fully cured, if the curing light works properly or if the angle of the curing probe is being monitored, taking care of it and providing you with an individual solution.


It is a good idea to limit foods that are hard to eat, like an apple or hard candy, as it can add pressure to your fillings. Consider avoiding coffee, tea and red wine since they can stain your teeth and fillings. Please don’t neglect your oral care routine: brush twice with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to keep them strong and healthy.

Composite and glass ionomer fillings are expected to last up to 5 years, and amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years, but it depends as well on the restoration location and how well it is looked after.

If tooth decay has reached your gum line, you can fill it as well. The procedure is similar to other filling cavities. If the cavity extends beneath the gum line, it can be challenging to access it with a drill or laser, so we will study your individual case. The procedure most commonly performed is a minor gum surgery to access the cavity, but it depends on its location.

Dental Clinic in Dublin 9
Tooth Fillings Treatment Process

What is the process in getting tooth fillings?

We will give you local anaesthesia to numb the area that surrounds your teeth to ensure comfort during the treatment.

Your dentist will use a drill to cut through the enamel, remove decay, and use another type of drill to reach the dentin, which is softer. Then, they will shape the tooth for the filling.

We will apply acid gel to the tooth in layers, using a bright light after each layer to cure it.

Once your filling is placed, we will shape it, polish the tooth with burs and check your bite.

Tooth Filling Treatment Cost

How much is a Tooth Filling?

Treatment Price
White filling (composite) €100 – €150
Silver filling
Aesthetic restoration/inlay/onlay
Root Canal Treatment
Endo access (Stage 1) €150
Front teeth/ Incisor
Tooth Extraction
Routine extraction €100 – €120
Surgical extraction** €150 – €200

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Ready to get Tooth Fillings?

Having a toothache or feeling sensitivity on your cheeks, tongue, and teeth is a sign that you may need to get in for an appointment for a dental filling. You should know these might be the first indications of decay, so it’s always best to act sooner than later! If you don’t yet have one, make sure to schedule an appointment with us today so we can help fix that problem! We want all our patients’ smiles to look their best at all times. If you need more information, please contact us at College Gate Dental Clinic. We would love to help!

Call us, email us or visit us to discuss your treatment options, we have a wide range of dental experts which you can choose from, with over 20 years of experience, you know you are in good hands.