Dental Fillings

Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
Dentists counselling the patient

One of the most routine parts of dental care is treating cavities, which is an area of decay in the tooth. When you have a cavity in your tooth, it's important that you schedule an appointment with the dental team at Legacy Dental. We are trained in a variety of dental care areas and can help you repair any issues that you have with your teeth.

First, the dentist will clean out the affected tooth, which leaves behind a hole. Then, the hole will be filled in and evened out so that it feels right and is protected against further decay.

5 Types of Dental Filling Material

There are 5 types of dental filling material. You may not be able to choose the material, but it does help to know your options:

How to Know When You Need a Filling

If you are experiencing pain and/or sensitivity around one or more of your teeth, you may have a cavity or decay in that tooth. If a tooth is discolored, you may have a cavity. If a tooth collects food, or has a bad smell or taste you may have a cavity. If you are having pain and/or sensitivity, contact the clinic right away so that you can have it taken care of and get back to enjoying your favorite foods and beverages.

When you come in, the dentist will perform some simple tests to determine what your needs are:

Visual Assessment

The dentist will start by looking around your mouth, especially around the area where you are experiencing pain and/or sensitivity. At this time, the dentist will be looking for obvious signs of a cavity.


Following the visual assessment, the dentist will likely use a small instrument to feel your teeth. This will help determine the severity of the decay.

This probing will also identify other teeth that need to be further examined or problems not related to cavities. Decay is not the only thing that may cause pain/sensitivity around your teeth.


Once the visual assessment and palpation/probing is complete, the dentist will want to have some x-rays done to get a more in-depth look at your teeth. This will reveal the size/severity of the cavities/decay in your teeth.

Dental Filling Procedure Explained

When you make your appointment with the team at Legacy Dental in Salt Lake City, Utah, it's important that you know what to expect. Here's how the procedure will go:

The dentist will use a local anesthetic to comfortably numb the area surrounding the tooth that is going to be worked on.

Next, the dentist will remove the area that is decayed. The dentist will then probe/test the area as the decay is being removed to determine if the decay is fully removed. Once the decay is completely cleaned out, the space will be prepared for the filling by cleaning out any debris/bacteria that have been left behind. If the decay is close to the nerve, the dentist may put in a liner to protect the nerve- glass ionomer or composite resin are the most common. Once the filling material has been added, the dentist will finish/polish it.

If you have tooth-colored fillings, additional steps will be required. Once the decay is removed and the tooth-colored material is layered in the space. A specialized blue light is used to harden each layer. Once the layering process is complete, the dentist will shape the material and trim off any excess material and polish it.

Caring for Teeth with Fillings

If you have dental fillings, you should maintain good oral hygiene habits:

If you experience the following, it's important to contact Legacy Dental immediately. We are open Monday through Thursday 8 AM to 8 PM and Friday 8 AM to 5 PM. We are also open on Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM for your dental emergency needs.

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sharp edges
  • Crack in your filling
  • Missing a piece of the filling

If the dentist suspects that you have a crack in one of your fillings or it's leaking, x-rays will be taken to determine the next steps in treatment.

Causes of Pain around Dental Fillings

There are several reasons you may experience pain around your dental filling:

  • Pain when biting: go back to your dentist to have it reshaped
  • Pain when teeth are touching: this pain should resolve within a short period of time
  • Toothache pain: the tooth is no longer healthy and you need to go back to the dentist for a root canal
  • Referred pain: this pain should resolve within 1-2 weeks

Reasons a Dental Filling Needs to Be Replaced

There are some situations when a dental filling will need to be replaced:
  • Normal wear/tear
  • Filling failure
  • Filling/decay is large

Cost of Dental Fillings

On average, the cost of dental fillings ranges from $100 to $300, depending on the size of the filling and the material used. Most insurance plans will cover composite and silver fillings. Before pursuing any dental treatment, it's important to find out what your dental plan covers and if you have other options for treatment that may cost less.

Do You Need a Filling in Your Teeth?

If you believe you have decay and require one or more dental fillings, it's important to schedule your consultation right away. At Legacy Dental, we are here to help with all of your dental needs, including cleaning out the decay and placing fillings. If you need more work, we can do that too.

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

How to reach us in and around Salt Lake City, Utah

Monday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Thursday: 8.00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 8.00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 8.00am – 2:00pm
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