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Dental Fillings in Richmond

young women shoppingIf tooth decay is small – making up less than 50% of your tooth structure – we strive to repair the area with a filling. In most cases, we use a white, tooth-coloured material called composite. This material blends in with the surrounding tooth enamel, allowing us to restore your smile’s beauty in an area where cavities have come into play. But it’s also durable and works better than older types of filling materials, like amalgam (silver) fillings.

Since cavities alter the structure of teeth, it’s important to fill them and make the tooth functional again. Otherwise, there’s a tendency to chew in other areas of your mouth, creating irregular wear patterns or TMJ issues. It’s best to clean out the decay, place a lining and fill the tooth over as soon as decay is detected.

Cared for properly, most fillings last anywhere from 10-15 years.

When Fillings Are Contraindicated

Fillings are used to “plug the hole” when there’s intact tooth structure surrounding the decay. However, they are not appropriate if the cavity is so large that it compromises the overall tooth structure. In those situations, it’s typically best to cover the tooth with a crown.

Scheduling routine checkups makes it easier to intercept decay while it’s small. With early intervention, we can preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Since tooth decay is a bacterial infection that can spread into adjacent teeth, it’s important to address it as soon as it’s diagnosed. Otherwise you could put the health of adjacent teeth at risk.

Symptoms of tooth decay typically consist of warning signs like

  • Sensitivity to pressure or temperature changes
  • Pain when biting down
  • An ache coming from the tooth
  • Visible holes or discolouration
  • Sharp or rough edges
  • Food catching when you eat

During your exam, Dr Shanthini Rao (Dentist) may order an X-ray to see how deep the cavity extends into your tooth. If the decay reaches the nerve, a filling isn’t appropriate. But if the cavity is shallow, we can clean the decay out and patch it over with a filling.

Dr Rao will show you the X-ray on a monitor, so that you can co-diagnose the extent of the decay alongside her. If it’s difficult to see, we can also capture a magnified image of the area with our intraoral camera.

Dental fillings are a gentle and minimally invasive procedure. Dr Rao will thoroughly numb your tooth so that you won’t feel anything more than a bit of pressure. From there we’ll remove the damaged tooth structures and clean out the hole created by the decay. Then we’ll select a matching composite material and hand-shape it into the opening. We’ll use a bright light to cure the filling into place and then you’re good to go!

Pain isn’t always a good indication as to whether you have a cavity or how bad a cavity really is. In fact, a tooth could be so severely infected that it’s abscessing, but the nerve is non-responsive to stimuli. So if you notice any rough edges or food catching in your teeth, it’s important to have Dr Rao check them to rule out any fractures or decay.

Putting Your Family First

For gentle family dentistry and dental fillings Richmond, contact us today!



Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.


Dental Fillings Near Melbourne Cricket Ground, Richmond VIC | (03) 9429 6020