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What are fillings?

Fillings are used to restore the function and/or appearance of missing tooth structure. Tooth loss typically results from cavities or external damage like chipping.  Placing a filling involves inserting a soft or malleable filling material into a prepared tooth and building up the tooth before the material hardens.  Our clinic uses white composite fillings that are colour-matched to your tooth to ensure a natural appearance.

Does my insurance cover fillings?

Coverage will vary from policy to policy, but most plans will offer at least partial coverage for dental fillings.  We can confirm your plan coverage at your next appointment.

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This Page Has 36 Questions

The information provided below does not constitute dental advice and is general in nature. It does not take into account your personal dental health and should not be acted on without consultation with a certified dental professional.

Bathurst Centre Dental Care accepts no liability for any loss or injury arising out of the use of this website or reliance on the content of this website.

    1. Hi Chantal, thank you for contacting us. The cost of fillings varies depending on the type of tooth (incisors, premolars vs molars), and the size of the cavities (how many surfaces of the tooth). Unfortunately, it’s not possible to provide exact pricing without seeing the tooth and x-ray first. We will contact you directly to see if we can assist you further.

  1. I got a cavity filled a couple months ago and had to go back multiple time to get it sanded down right because my bite was off and it was causing pain. I also had sensitivity in different area and before I went to the dentist I looked at the sensitive tooth and in the crevasse was a black spot. I ask the dentist to look to see if he could see anything and he said he didn’t see anything but to be safe he did an x ray and said nothing was there. I switched to sensidine tooth paste and the pain went away but the black spot is still there. I guess I’m kind of wondering what the chances of having a cavity there is? and could it be something else?

    1. Hi Mary, the black spot could be just a stain, or a precursor to a cavity which requires monitoring only, or a full cavity which requires treatment. Unfortunately, there’s no way to provide you with a reliable diagnosis without a physical examination of your tooth. Regular checkups with your dentist to monitor the dark spot and all of your other teeth is probably your best option.

  2. I had braces for around 4 years and that caused a lot of cavities in many of my teeth. The cavities have been filled now but now i want to get my teeth whitened. So will those cavities allow me to whiten my teeth? And also is the back side of the teeth whitened or is it just the anterior aspect of teeth that is whitened?

    1. Hi Ted, keep in mind that fillings, root canal treated teeth, crowns, bridges and veneers do not change color with whitening; only your natural teeth do. If your fillings’ shade are a perfect match for your existing tooth color, they may appear to be more yellow compared to your teeth after whitening. Usually, it is more noticeable for the front teeth than the back molars. It is possible to change the fillings to match your teeth after whitening if the difference is very noticeable.

      Whitening is usually done for the anterior aspect of the teeth since that’s the side you normally see. Bleaching the back side of your teeth will only impress your dentist or hygienist, since they are the only ones who usually get to see that side of your teeth. 🙂

  3. Dear Dr
    I had a dental filling last week and my dentist said it was far from the root..Two days later my tooth suddenly started to cause severe pain just right after eating ice cream.The pain wouldn’t go away all night and would lesions during day.
    This continued for almost three days till I cut off sugar completely,then the pain is almost gone but with little pressure at night.
    Now I can’t bite on it cause its extremely painful but without touching it its fine.
    I went to my dentist and he checked the tooth (without x ray) saying that there is no crack but maybe there is an inflammation so I should take ibuprofen for three days.
    I want to know whether this is an irreversible pulpits and whether after three days of pain the pulp is already dead.
    I didn’t start ibuprofen yet, but I’m still concerned about whether this is an reversible or irreversible pulpits.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Jihan, I can tell you some common causes of pain after a filling but unfortunately I can’t diagnose your tooth (or pulpitis) without an in-person exam. Sometimes a tooth may be sensitive for a short time after a dental filling is placed; sensitivity toothpaste will help if that’s the case. Sometimes a filling may be higher than it’s supposed to be and cause pain on bite; in those cases a bite adjustment may be necessary. Pulpitis is a less common cause especially since the filling was not deep, but it’s possible. Please discuss your concerns with your dentist or seek a second opinion if it would help alleviate your concerns.

  4. Hi there I’m just looking to get some advice. I had a deep filling done about 2 months ago and ever since I have had no pain but out of the blue today my jaw and teeth on my right side are very sore. My filling is not to high so that’s not the problem.

    1. Hi Samantha, unfortunately it’s not possible for me to provide a diagnosis without a physical exam and x-ray of the tooth and surrounding area. It’s possible the pain is related to the deep cavity you had fixed two months ago; sometimes the cavity is so deep that the dental pulp and nerve eventually die, and it can take a while for the pain to surface. However, some other possible causes of sore teeth and jaw include grinding and clenching of teeth (during the day or night) and possible gum issues. Please see your dental provider as soon as you can to have the pain diagnosed.

  5. Hello! I had a filling done on the mesial of my lateral incisor. Everything seemed ok I went home and flossed my teeth. Something seemed to be stuck between the distal of my lateral incisor and my canine which I suspected to be dental material. It wouldn’t come out by flossing and after some time I flossed it again and there was a sharp pain from my gum line vertically upwards to the rest of my gums. I can’t tell if I damaged the gums or possibly cracked my tooth. Maybe even irritated the pulp? The lateral incisor sometimes pulsates. Flossing bring pain to my interdental papillae.

    1. Hi Helia,
      Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you if the pain is originating from the gum or the tooth without a hands-on examination. It is hard to cause a crack in a healthy tooth with flossing unless the tooth is already weakened with cavities or already has a large filling. It is more likely that you may have caused some minor reversible damage to the gum with excess force during flossing. My advice is to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible so they can help you with whatever is stuck between your teeth and check to see what was causing the pain. In the mean time, do not try to force the floss through your teeth and rinse with warm salt water to help your gum heal.

  6. I was at the dentist 2 months ago (no issues), but I just got some mild pain in a tooth.
    Is it possible to get a cavity two months after a cleaning/checkup.

    1. Hi Jay,
      Tooth pain can be from reasons other than a cavity. You could be experiencing mild pain due to gum recession, from sensitivity due to grinding or clenching, an older filling starting to fail, or any number of other possible reasons. Please schedule an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth examined.

  7. You
    Hi, my wisdom teeth are all in. They have no complications however one of them has decay and it broke. My dentist told me he doesn’t feel comfortable doing a filling on a wisdom tooth and wants to remove it. Do you think this is right? My teeth had gaps before my wisdom teeth and pushed them together. I’m worried my gaps will come back. What do you think I should do?

    1. Hi Kaitlind, cavities on wisdom teeth are usually more difficult to fix since they are further back in the mouth. The chance of getting cavities on the same wisdom tooth again after it is fixed is also higher since wisdom teeth tend to be difficult to keep clean. There is the risk of infection and abscess if cavities are not under control. In a lot of cases, it makes more sense to extract the wisdom teeth instead of keeping them.

      Gaps in teeth usually do not reappear after wisdom teeth are removed. But please talk to your dentist regarding your particular concerns.

  8. Will a dentist prescribe antibiotics (eg amoxicillin) if they are not sure if a toothache is an infection or an erupting wisdom tooth? If the dental X-ray showed no cavities or tooth decay in tender tooth, tooth has a large metal amalgam filling and has been examined but no sign of external cavity.

    1. Hi Farrah, dentists will prescribe antibiotics if they diagnose a bacterial infection. Since dentists do not have the luxury of waiting for a bacterial culture test to come back before writing a prescription and since infection in the mouth can spread to the brain and upper respiratory tract and cause a lot of pain and suffering, it is a judgement call in each situation. If a dentist suspects or diagnoses pericoronitis with an erupting wisdom tooth, antibiotics may be prescribed. A tooth with a large filling (i.e. a tooth that had large cavities or fractures in the past) can still abscess even if there is no sign of new cavities and a dentist may also prescribe antibiotics in that situation.

  9. I had felt a little thing on my tooth and I thought something was stuck on it but I looked and there’s like a this little hole thing which I can feel with my tongue there is also one on the same tooth but on the other side of my mouth but smaller, is this normal or do both teeth have a a cavity

    1. Hi Sage, some teeth (premolars and molars) have natural grooves and/or indentations on them. Unfortunately, without a physical examination of the teeth, I cannot tell you if the holes in your teeth are normal or if they are cavities. Please book an appointment with a dentist as soon as you can.

  10. I went to the dentist Tuesdays of this week… A filling came out about 1 month ago back bottom right molar… i put Temp dent to replace it when i thought the pain was manageable. The dentist gave me Amoxicillin and Ibuprofen 800mg today is thursday and im still feeling a lot of pain where i put the Tempdent… My question is should i remove the Temp Dent?

    1. Hi Rodney, please consult your dentist regarding removal of the tempdent. If your dentist prescribed antibiotics because the tooth is abscessed, removing the tempdent may not offer much pain relief. Amoxicillin may temporarily keep the infection from spreading, but you should visit your dentist for a more permanent solution to the abscessed tooth as soon as possible.

      1. I had a small tumor with a gingival swelling near the tooth of my jaw. there is also pain. but there is no cavity in the tooth as far as I can see. please provide an answer.

        1. Hi Sansiluni, please see a dentist as soon as possible since you are experiencing pain and swelling. You will need x-ray of the teeth and a physical exam for a proper diagnosis. Some cavities start between the teeth and can only be detected with an x-ray.

  11. Hello. My 7 year old had a broken filling re-drilled and fixed. It seemed ok the first 2 days but then it got tender. He ate a sugary gummy and he could no longer put any pressure on it. Went back and dentist xrayed. Saw no problem inside tooth but the new filling had crumbled a bit. He patched and reconfigured it. It’s been a day and although its alot better he still feels some pain. Dentist thought the sugar could have irritated the nerve. Question is, how long do you normally expect this nerve irritation to clear up? Any how would I know if there becomes a bigger issue?

    1. Hi Lia, there is really no specific timeline for this type of sensitivity. I am going to assume this is a baby tooth; baby teeth are smaller than adult teeth and they also have more pulp/nerve than adult teeth. Bacteria from cavities tend to spread to nerves faster than compared to adult teeth. Keep an eye on the tooth and the gum around it. If the pain worsens (pain all the time without eating, or pain waking him up at night) or if you notice a bump or fistula / gum boil on the gum around that tooth, then contact your dentist as soon as you can.

  12. I chipped my two front teeth. Would it be possible to grind them down since they are already buck or would you fill them? I’m not sure if this is important but they weren’t bleeding when I chipped them. I also haven’t had braces yet and are in need of some so would I get my teeth straightened first?

    1. Hi Bobby, the decision to either polish the chipped edges or to repair the teeth depends on how much of your teeth was chipped off. If the chip is still in the enamel surface, it may be possible to just smooth the chipped edge. Please visit a dentist to assess the situation.

  13. Is it safe to be injected by a local anesthesia for three consecutive days? It’s because I am scheduled next week for my composites on my teeth and they need to do a lot of work. It will be done for three consecutive days and I wanna be sure if it’s safe.

    1. Hi Angelika, unfortunately, without knowing your medical history and conditions I cannot comment on the safety of any procedures. Please consult with your dentist or seek the opinion of someone who is familiar with your medical history, conditions and whether you are allergic to any medications or local anesthesia.

      In general, the effect of local anesthesia is localized to the area of administration so the effects break down within a few hours (some anesthetics last longer than others), but there is a maximum dosage that can given at the same time based on the type of local anesthesia and the weight of the patient. It is safe for a healthy person with no known allergies to have local anesthesia three consecutive days as long as the maximum dosage is respected at each visit.

  14. I had 6 cavity fillings done around two weeks ago at a different clinic. I am aware that my teeth may be sensitive for quite sometime but is it normal to still have persistent pain? I have been taking like 1-2 Ibuprofen a day & i still cant eat things (like chips) properly). In particular one tooth that is sensitive – everytime I floss by where the filling was placed it immediately bleeds – prior to the filling it did not do this. Should I follow up with my dentist?

    1. Hi Mackenzie, it would be a good idea to follow up with your dentist to let him/her know if the pain has not gone away. Your dentist may decide to bring you back for a check up and possibly a bite adjustment if needed. It would also be a good idea to start using some sensitivity toothpaste while you wait for your appointment.

  15. Hi, I got one of my front tooth filled and I wanted to use whitening strips. Does whitening strips damage or give changes to the filling?
    p.s. I already know that whitening strips can’t whiten fillings.

    1. Hi Max, the whitening strips sold in pharmacies in North American do not have any adverse effects on dental fillings.

  16. Hi Dr Li, I have recently had some fillings completed on my teeth. I am a Canadian citizen living and receiving dental care in England. The dentists here do not know the Canadian procedure and tooth codes that I require for my insurance coverage. As I lived in Ontario for my working life could you please send me the codes so I can complete my out of country forms. Thanks very much.

    1. Hi Steven, it is always a pleasure to help out a fellow Canadian. I am going to assume that you had white / bonded composite fillings done, as silver/ amalgam fillings have different codes. The codes for white fillings are listed below. You also need to write down the tooth number and the surfaces that were worked on when filing the insurance claim. A lot of dental insurance companies have customer service numbers that you can reach out to, and they may help you with more specific information.

      RESTORATIONS, Tooth Coloured, Bonded Permanent Anteriors,
      One surface 23111
      Two surfaces 23112
      Three surfaces 23113
      Four surfaces 23114
      Five surfaces 23115

      Permanent Bicuspids
      One surface 23311
      Two surfaces 23312
      Three surfaces 23313
      Four surfaces 23314
      Five surfaces 23315

      Permanent Molars
      One surface 23321
      Two surfaces 23322
      Three surfaces 23323
      Four surfaces 23324
      Five surfaces 23325

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