Tooth filling near you

Almost everyone will need a tooth filling at some point to treat a cavity or repair damaged teeth. Celebrate Dental makes the process easy, whether you need a dental filling or more extensive care. Call and make an appointment today.

Why a dental filling?

There are a few reasons why your dentist might recommend a dental filling:

1. To fill a cavity

2. To repair a cracked or broken tooth

3. To rebuild a tooth due to teeth grinding or nail biting

Cavity filling

To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material was removed.

Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).

  • Sudden, unexplained pain
  • Pain while biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity near the cavity
  • Visible holes in the teeth
  • White, brown, or black spots on the tooth’s surface

Repairing cracked or damaged teeth

If your teeth are cracked or damaged, they may require more extensive work than a simple tooth filling. Your Celebrate Dental dentist may recommend a root canal and crown or extraction to relieve pain and prevent an infection from spreading.

Signs of a cracked tooth:
  • Sharp pain when biting down that quickly disappears
  • Sensitivity when eating or drinking
  • The feeling of having something stuck in your teeth

Why or when would a dental filling need to be replaced?

Over time, dental fillings can wear down, crack or become damaged. When this happens, they’ll need to be replaced. Signs that you may need a new dental filling include:

1st sign
The filling has become visibly discolored over time.
2nd Sign
Increased tooth sensitivity
3rd Sign
Rough or uneven edges around the filling
4th Sign
Persistent discomfort

Types of dental fillings

What materials are dental fillings made from? Are there advantages and disadvantages to various filling materials?

Tooth colored composite filling

Shade can be closely matched to color of existing teeth, bonds to existing tooth providing additional support, commonly used for repairs other than cavity filling, sometimes less tooth needs to be removed compared with amalgams.

Glass ionomer fillings

Mostly used for fillings below the gum line, releases fluoride that can help protect from further tooth decay.

Silver tooth filling

Lasts at least 10 to 15 years, less expensive than composite fillings.

Porcelain tooth filling

Lasts more than 15 years, more resistant to staining than composite resin material.

How teeth fillings work

Teeth fillings fill in the holes that are caused by decay. The process of getting them is a common dental procedure. See the steps below:

Local anesthetic
Your dentist will apply a local anesthetic to ease discomfort.
Remove decay
Any decay will be removed from the affected tooth or teeth.
Place filling
The chosen type of filling will be applied to the affected area.
Bite check
Your dentist will perform a bite check to make sure your teeth align comfortably.

How much do tooth fillings cost?

At Celebrate Dental, the full cost of a tooth filling ranges from $85 (Dental Savers Plan) or $169 per filling. Costs can vary depending on various factors, including the location of the tooth in your mouth, the surfaces affected, what the filling is made of, your insurance coverage and any financing and warranty options.

Contact your local Celebrate Dental office to determine your cost, based on your specific needs.

No insurance? No worries.

Care is always accessible with Celebrate Dental, that’s why your full exam and X-rays are on us if you’re a new patient and 21 or older. Schedule today and get 20% off your care.

up to

20% off

dental fillings


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No insurance? No worries. With our expanded savings plan, you’ll get more savings for only $15 per month—it’s just one more way we’re in your corner.

Tooth filling FAQ’s

What is a tooth filling?

A tooth filling is a dental restoration treatment used to repair a decayed, cracked or damaged tooth. It involves removing the affected portion of the tooth and filling the hole with a dental material to restore its structure, function and integrity.

Can someone feel tooth pain after filling?

Yes, it is possible for someone to experience discomfort after receiving a dental filling. This can be caused by a number of factors such as initial sensitivity, a high filling that requires adjustment, irritation of the tooth’s nerve during the procedure, or, in rare cases, underlying issues like infection or an allergic reaction to the filling material. If you experience persistent or severe pain after a dental filling, you should contact your dentist immediately for a thorough evaluation and treatment.

What is a tooth gap filling?

Tooth gap filling, or dental bonding, is a cosmetic procedure to close spaces or gaps between teeth. Tooth-colored composite resin is applied to the affected area, which is then shaped and polished to blend in with the surrounding teeth. This is a good option if you wish to improve the appearance of your smile by addressing gaps, irregular spacing or minor cosmetic imperfections.

How long do tooth fillings last?

The lifespan of tooth fillings can vary depending on factors like the filling material used, oral hygiene, diet and the location of the filling. Generally, tooth-colored composite fillings can last five to 10 years, while silver amalgam fillings may last 10 to 15 years.

However, with proper care and regular dental check-ups, fillings can often last longer. Follow your Celebrate Dental dentist’s advice on maintaining and monitoring your fillings for the best results.

Do tooth fillings hurt?

During the dental filling procedure, your Celebrate Dental dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. It’s common to feel some pressure or vibrations as the dentist works on the tooth.

After the anesthesia wears off, you might experience some mild discomfort or sensitivity, which usually subsides within a few days. If you experience severe or prolonged pain after a filling, contact your local Celebrate Dental office for an evaluation.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of composite fillings?

Most dental insurance plans cover the cost of the composites up to the price of the silver filling, then you would need to pay the difference. It’s always best to contact your dental care insurance provider before procedures if you have questions or concerns about cost.

Can a person be allergic to amalgam fillings?

It’s possible but fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported, according to the ADA. In these rare occasions, mercury or one of the metals used in an amalgam restoration is thought to trigger the allergic response. Symptoms of amalgam allergy are similar to those experienced in a typical skin allergy and include skin rashes and itching. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to an amalgam, it’s likely that you have a medical or family history of allergies to metals. Once an allergy is confirmed, another restorative material can be used.

What causes a new filling to simply fall out?

New fillings that fall out are probably the result of improper cavity preparation, contamination of the preparation prior to placement of the restoration or a fracture of the restoration from bite or chewing trauma. Older restorations will generally be lost due to decay or fracturing of the remaining tooth.

What's a temporary filling and why would I need one?

You might need a temporary fillings:

  • If more than one appointment is needed for your filling. For example, before placement of gold fillings and for indirect fillings that use composite materials.
  • Following a root canal.
  • To allow your tooth’s nerve to “settle down” if the pulp became irritated.
  • If emergency dental treatment is needed (such as to address a toothache).

Temporary fillings are just that; they are not meant to last. They usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within one month. Be sure to keep your appointment to have your temporary filling replaced with a permanent one. If you don’t, your tooth could become infected or you could have other complications.

Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA and numerous public health agencies say that silver (mercury based) amalgam fillings are safe. However, the FDA recently issued updated recommendations about the use of amalgam fillings in certain individuals. They state that the following individuals may be at greater risk for potential harmful health effects of mercury vapors and should avoid getting these fillings whenever possible.

  • People at greater risk include:
  • Pregnant women and their developing fetuses.
  • Women who are planning to become pregnant.
  • Nursing women and their newborns.
  • Children, especially those younger than six years of age.
  • People with pre-existing neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
  • People with impaired kidney function.
  • People with sensitivity or allergy to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.

The FDA does not recommend removing dental amalgam in people at higher risk if the amalgam is in good condition, suggesting that to do so would increase exposure to mercury vapor and result in more risks than benefits.

How should I care for my teeth with fillings?

To maintain your fillings, you should follow good oral hygiene practices:

  • Visiting your dentist regularly (twice a year) for cleanings.
  • Brush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Floss at least once daily.

Call your dentist if:

  • Your tooth is extremely sensitive.
  • You feel a sharp edge.
  • You notice a crack in a filling or if a piece of the filling is missing.

Your dentist will take X-rays if he or she suspects that one of your fillings might be cracked or is “leaking” (when the sides of the filling don’t fit tightly against the tooth, debris and saliva can seep down between the filling and the tooth, which leads to decay).

What causes tooth sensitivity after getting a dental filling?

Tooth sensitivity after placement of a filling is fairly common. Your tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods, or temperature. Usually, the sensitivity goes away on its own within a few weeks. Until then, avoid the cause of the sensitivity. You usually don’t need to take a pain reliever.

Contact your dentist if the sensitivity doesn’t go away within two to four weeks or if your tooth is extremely sensitive. He or she may recommend using a desensitizing toothpaste, may apply a desensitizing agent to the tooth, or possibly suggest a root canal procedure.

Why do I feel pain around my dental filling?

There are several reasons why you might have pain after a dental filling. Each has a different cause.

Pain when you bite: Your filling is interfering with your bite. Return to your dentist and have the filling reshaped.

Pain when your teeth touch: Your pain is likely caused by the touching of two different metal surfaces (for example, the silver amalgam in a newly filled tooth and a gold crown on another tooth with which it touches). This pain should go away on its own within a short period of time.

Toothache-type pain: This pain might occur if the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth. This “toothache” response may mean this tissue is no longer healthy and a root canal procedure is needed.

Referred pain: Referred pain is pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that was filled. There’s likely nothing wrong with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing along “pain signals” it’s receiving to other teeth. This pain should decrease on its own over one to two weeks.

What are indirect fillings?

Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings except that they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Indirect fillings are considered when you don’t have enough tooth structure remains to support a filling, but your tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.

During the first visit, decay or an old filling is removed. An impression is taken to record the shape of the tooth being repaired and the teeth around it. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory that makes the indirect filling. A temporary filling (described below) is placed to protect the tooth while your restoration is being made. During the second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the dentist checks the fit of the indirect restoration. If the fit is acceptable, it will be permanently cemented into place.

There are two types of indirect fillings – inlays and onlays.

  • Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
  • Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

Inlays and onlays are more durable and last much longer than traditional fillings – up to 30 years. They can be made of tooth-colored composite resin, porcelain or gold. Inlays and onlays weaken the tooth structure, but do so to a much lower extent than traditional fillings.

Another type of inlay and onlay – direct inlays and onlays – follow the same processes and procedures as the indirect, the difference is that direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office and can be placed in one visit. The type of inlay or onlay used depends on how much sound tooth structure remains and cosmetic concerns.

Are there advantages and disadvantages to various filling materials?

Yes. Advantages and disadvantages of the various dental filling materials are as follows:


  • Gold: Lasts at least 10 to 15 years, some say gold presents a pleasing appearance.
  • Silver fillings (amalgams): Lasts at least 10 to 15 years, less expensive than composite fillings.
  • Tooth-colored composite fillings: Shade can be closely matched to color of existing teeth, bonds to existing tooth providing additional support, commonly used for repairs other than cavity filling, sometimes less tooth needs to be removed compared with amalgams.
  • Ceramics/porcelain: Lasts more than 15 years, more resistant to staining than composite resin material.
  • Glass ionomer (acrylic and a specific type of glass material): Mostly used for fillings below the gum line, releases fluoride that can help protect from further tooth decay.


  • Gold: More expensive than other materials, may require more than one office visit to place.
  • Silver: May require more tooth to be removed to make space large enough to hold filling, creates grayish hue to the surrounding tooth structure, may have higher risk of tooth cracks and fractures due to wider degree of expansion and contraction, allergic potential in some people.
  • Tooth-colored composite fillings: Lasts at least five years (less than the 10 to 15 years of other materials), may chip off tooth depending on location, can cost up to twice as much as amalgams, can take more time to place and/or additional visits.
    Ceramics: Can cost as much as gold.
  • Glass ionomer: Is weaker than composite resin, more likely to wear and prone to fracture, lasts five years or less, costs comparable to composite fillings.

Medical references and resources

Dental Fillings: Materials, Types, Sensitivity & Allergy Issues –

Dental Fillings: Gold, Amalgam, Composite, Ceramic and More –

Dental Fillings | National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research –

Composite Fillings | MouthHealthy – Oral Health Information from the ADA –

Tooth Filling: Procedures, Types, and FAQs | Expert Dental Care –

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