If you have a cavity, you will need a dental filling to prevent further tooth deterioration. Different types of fillings vary in materials and appearance. Composite dental fillings are one of the most commonly used materials as it has the closest appearance to your natural teeth.

Restorative Procedures and dental fillings

Restorative dental procedures involve a restoration of missing, damaged or diseased teeth back to normal healthy tooth shape and function. Usual reasons for a tooth that requires a restoration are a dental trauma, cavity or tooth decay. Dental implants also considered a restoration procedure as it replaces the missing tooth structure (tooth root) to allow a future dental crown to be placed to replace a missing tooth. Learn more about dental implants here.


Composite fillings are most commonly used in today's dentistry. They are also called tooth-coloured or white fillings as they closely resemble your natural teeth colour, which makes them popular. 


Amalgam material has been used in dentistry for a very long time. However, the use of amalgam is on the decline. The main reason is that it is not as appealing as porcelain filling. Another reason is that some patients are becoming concerned with the small amount of mercury in amalgam fillings.


Dental fillings fall within direct type of restorations. Direct restorations require a dentist to place a soft or a malleable dental filling into a tooth that was prepared, and all decay was removed. The advantage of direct restoration is that it can be done in one appointment. A dental filling usually can be done in one appointment from 30 minutes to an hour.

 How long does a dental filling last?

Once a dental filling is restored you can expect it to last anywhere between 5-10 years. This will greatly depend on your oral hygiene habits and routines. Regular visits to your dentist office for teeth cleaning appointment will keep your natural teeth and any dental treatment healthy longer. Good habits such as brushing teeth twice a day and flossing regularly will help greatly.