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Dental Fillings: The Basics and When You Need One

Dental fillings are perhaps one of the most common treatment options recommended for the repair of cavities, chips, and other damage to your teeth. A filling is a material placed into a damaged tooth to restore its shape and function. Fillings can be made from various materials, such as gold, silver amalgam, composite resin, and porcelain.

When Do You Need a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities caused by bacteria in the mouth that break down the tooth’s enamel. If left untreated, cavities can cause further damage to the tooth, leading to infection, pain, and tooth loss. The most common signs that you may need a dental filling are:

Visible Holes or Pits in the Tooth

One of the common telltale signs you need a dental filling is visible holes or pits in the tooth. These holes or recesses are typically caused by cavities, which are small areas of decay that can form on the tooth’s surface. Various factors, including poor oral hygiene, diet, genetics, and age, can cause cavities.

Pain When Chewing

Another sign that you may need a dental filling is pain when chewing. This type of pain is usually caused by a decay in the tooth that has caused the enamel to become weak and eventually lead to a cavity if left untreated.

Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures

If you’ve recently had a cold or hot beverage and experienced sudden pain or discomfort, it could be a sign that you require a dental filling. This sensitivity can range from mild to severe and can be sudden and sharp or lingering and dull. This symptom can occur when the enamel on a tooth is damaged and allows the nerve endings to be exposed, leading to discomfort when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Bad Breath

Having bad breath, also known as halitosis, is among the most common signs that you need a dental filling. 

The primary cause of bad breath is bacteria that live in our mouths. Bacteria produce sulfur compounds that can accumulate and cause bad breath when not removed. When bacteria gets in the crevices and pits of a tooth, it causes decay and cavities, leading to bad breath. 

A dental filling can help stop the spread of bacteria and restore the health of the tooth. The dentist will first remove the part of the tooth that’s decayed and then fill the area with a material such as composite resin or amalgam. This will seal the decayed area and help prevent bacteria from spreading and causing more decay.

Why Do You Need a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings are a common and effective procedure used to repair cavities and restore teeth to their original shape and size.

Dental fillings are used to fill in the cavities and restore the teeth to their original shape and size. The dentist will thoroughly remove the decayed portion of the tooth, clean the area, and then fill it with a filling material. The most common materials used for fillings are composite resin, porcelain, and gold.

In addition to treating cavities, dental fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth and to fill in gaps between teeth. Fillings can also protect the teeth’ roots that have been exposed due to gum recession.


Dental fillings are among the most common procedures used to restore the health and appearance of teeth that have been damaged by decay. If you experience any of the symptoms shared above, you must see a dentist immediately. There are several types of fillings available, and the procedure is relatively straightforward. A dental filling can help to protect your teeth and prevent further damage from occurring.

Manassas Smiles is a trusted clinic that offers complete dental care services, including dental fillings. Our dental experts serve Manassas, Centreville, and other nearby Northern VA communities. Schedule your appointment today!

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