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Step-by-Step Dental Filling Procedure

by Youth Dental

Step-by-Step Dental Filling Procedure

Reviewed By Dr. Jodi Kuhn

Reading time: 5 minutes

As a parent, you understand that dental procedures can be daunting for your child. 

But don’t worry! Dental fillings are a common treatment to stop tooth decay, restore the tooth, and prevent further damage. 

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explain the dental filling procedure, helping you prepare your child for their appointment. Our aim is to give you peace of mind and make sure your child has a positive experience.

So, let’s kick those dental fears to the curb and learn about the dental filling process!

What Is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a restorative material that is used to repair teeth damaged by decay, fractures, or other types of damage. It helps fill in the holes and gaps created by tooth decay and prevents further damage to the tooth.

The filling also restores the tooth’s shape, size, and function, allowing your child to eat, speak, and smile comfortably.

Dental fillings are typically made of composite resin, amalgam, or porcelain materials. Your child’s dentist will recommend the most suitable filling material based on their specific needs and preferences.

Key Takeaway

Dental fillings restore decayed or fractured teeth, preserving their shape, size, and function. By filling in holes and gaps with materials like composite resin, amalgam, or porcelain, they prevent further damage and promote oral health. This allows your child to eat, speak, and smile comfortably.

Step-by-Step Dental Filling Procedure

Step 1: Numbing the Area

Before we start, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area and make sure your child feels comfortable throughout the process. The anesthetic will be applied with a small needle, and your child might feel a gentle pinch or pressure during this step. If additional sedation is required, like nitrous oxide, we will discuss what options are best for your child’s specific needs. 

Step 2: Removing Decay

Once the area is numb, the dentist will gently remove any decayed or damaged parts of the tooth using specialized tools. This step is crucial as it helps prevent further decay and prepares the tooth for the filling, ensuring a healthier smile.

Step 3: Preparing the Filling Material

The choice of filling material will affect how we proceed with this step. For composite fillings, we apply a gel to the tooth surface to help bond the filling material. Porcelain filling material is used to shape a high-quality dental ceramic that matches the natural teeth color. It is custom-made to fit the tooth shape and color, securely bonded for a natural-looking restoration.

Step 4: Placing the Filling

Once the filling material is ready, it’s time for it to go into the prepared cavity. Your dentist will skillfully shape and mold the filling material to create a strong bond with the tooth. For composite fillings, multiple layers may be added, and each layer will be hardened using a special light.

Step 5: Polishing

Once the dental filling is in place, the dentist will give it a nice polish to guarantee a smooth finish and make any necessary adjustments to even out any rough spots. This important step helps prevent premature wear and tear of the filling, keeping your child’s smile in tip-top shape!

Types of Dental Fillings

As mentioned earlier, dental fillings can be made of different materials. Let’s take a look at the most common types of fillings used in family dentistry:

  • Composite resin fillings: These tooth-colored fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass particles that can match the natural color of your child’s teeth.
  • Porcelain fillings: These fillings are a great option for cavities on the front teeth as they match the natural color of your teeth. They are commonly used to replace outdated amalgam and silver fillings that have become worn out.
  • Amalgam fillings: Also known as silver or metal fillings, amalgam is a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. These dental fillings offer an affordable choice, especially for low-income families covered by Colorado Medicaid.

Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite resin fillings are gaining popularity among parents and dentists thanks to their numerous benefits. Let’s explore why tooth-colored fillings could be a great choice for your little one.

  • Natural appearance: Tooth-colored fillings blend in with the natural teeth, making them less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings.
  • Minimal removal of healthy tooth structure: Composite fillings require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to other types of fillings.
  • Reduced sensitivity: Tooth-colored fillings have a better bond with the tooth, resulting in reduced sensitivity and a more comfortable eating experience for your child.
  • No exposure to mercury: Although silver amalgam fillings are deemed safe for use by the American Dental Association, composite fillings do not contain any mercury.


After the filling procedure, it’s important to take good care of the restored tooth to make sure it lasts a long time. Here are some tips for your child’s aftercare:

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least one hour after the procedure to allow the filling material to set properly.
  • Brush and floss their teeth gently twice a day to maintain good oral health.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child every six months to monitor the dental filling status and catch any potential issues early on.

Youth Dental-Your Family Dentist in Denver

Dental fillings are a routine procedure in family dentistry, and thanks to advancements in technology and materials, they’re now safer and more effective than ever!

By getting to know the dental filling process and the advantages of various types of fillings, you can help alleviate any concerns your child may have and guarantee a positive dental visit.

If your child is facing any dental issues or it’s time for their regular dental check-up, don’t hesitate to contact Youth Dental.

You can trust our team of professionals to provide exceptional dental care for your little one.

If you are searching for ‘pediatric dental fillings near me’, or ‘best dentist for kids near me’, we can help.

To book an appointment at one of our four locations, call (303) 953-8801 or complete the online booking form.


Can You Get a Cavity After a Filling?

Yes, a cavity can develop in a filled tooth if the filling becomes loose or damaged, allowing bacteria to enter and cause decay. Regular dental check-ups are essential to maintain your child’s fillings and address issues early. Good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle are also crucial.

Why Do I Need a Filling In My Tooth?

A filling is crucial for a decayed or damaged tooth, preventing further decay and complications like infection or tooth loss. Without a filling, the tooth may deteriorate, causing discomfort and difficulties with chewing and speaking. Promptly addressing dental issues is vital for maintaining good oral health.

What Does a Filling Look Like?

Dental fillings can look different based on the material used. Composite resin fillings blend in with your child’s natural tooth color, while amalgam fillings have a silver appearance and may be more noticeable.

How Long Does a Tooth Filling Take To Heal?

The healing time for a tooth filling varies depending on the filling type, cavity size, and individual healing. Discomfort or sensitivity usually subsides within a few days to a week. Follow your child’s dentist’s aftercare instructions and attend regular check-ups for monitoring.

Can a Filling Get a Cavity?

While dental fillings cannot develop cavities, bacteria can enter and cause decay around the edges or in gaps between the filling and the tooth. Regular dental check-ups are crucial to maintain your child’s fillings and address issues early. Good oral hygiene habits also help prevent dental cavities.

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