Are you experiencing excruciating discomfort from cavities? Do you want it to go away for good? One of the most optimal treatments for this is a dental filling that we do offer at Sydney Dental. 

dental filling

During a filling treatment, the dentist will remove the decay in the tooth then “fill” the area with a suitable material. Fillings also serve to fix broken, chipped, or worn out teeth. Want to know more? Let us guide you through the abcs of this procedure so you can decide if it is a good fit for your oral conditions and aims.

cosmetic braces

1. What is dental filling?

The fillings are single or combinations of metals, plastics, glass or other materials used to repair or restore teeth. One of the most popular roles of fillings is to “fill” a tooth that has been removed by the dental provider due to a tooth cavity. 

All in all, dental filling is the process where the dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth and fills it with a dental material to treat tooth decay. This method is also used to restore cracked, broken, or worn out teeth resulting from bad habits like teeth clenching or nail biting.

2. How is it done?

First off, the dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb the area of the tooth to be treated. Then they will use a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser to eliminate the decay. The filling choice depends on the expertise and experience of the dentist, the facilities of the dental clinic as well as the position and degree of the decay.

Next, the dentist will monitor and recheck the tooth to ensure that all the decay has been removed. After that, the bacteria and particles inside the tooth are also removed. If the decay is close to the root, the dentist can place a liner made of glass ionomer, composite, etc. to guard the nerves. When the filling is in place, the dentist will polish it.

A few extra steps are also conducted for tooth-colored fillings, namely:

  • After the decay has been eliminated and the area cleaned, the tooth-colored material is placed layer by layer;
  • Then the dentist will shine a special light to the area to strengthen each layer;
  • When this layering process is done, the dentist will shape the composite material according to the desired expectations, take off any excess material and polish the final result.

dental filling

3. What are the materials used in dental fillings?

There are many dental filling materials available today. The cavities can be filled with: 

  • Gold;
  • Porcelain or ceramics;
  • Silver amalgam (mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper);
  • Tooth-colored, plastic and glass materials, which is also referred to as composite resin fillings.

Additionally, there is glass ionomer – a material containing glass particles which can be used similar to composite.

The location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, your personal budget, and your dentist’s recommendation help determine the type of filling material that will best address your needs.

To give you an easier time differentiating between the materials provided as well as understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each, we have the table below. 


  • Minimum life of 10 to 15 years;
  • Some people feel like gold gives a nice-looking appearance.
  • Costs more money than other materials;
  • May require patients to visit the clinic more than once to complete. 
Silver fillings (amalgams)
  • Can 10 to 15 years at the least;
  • More affordable than composite fillings.
  • May require more portion of the tooth to be removed to give enough space to hold the filling;
  • Causes grayish hue around the tooth structure;
  • May come with a higher risk of tooth cracks and breaks as a result of greater degree of expansion and contraction;
  • May be allergic to some patients.
Tooth-colored composite fillings
  • With color very similar to that of original teeth;
  • Is bound to the existing tooth, which brings additional support;
  • Commonly used for tooth repairs rather than filling a cavity;
  • Sometimes required less tooth to be removed than with amalgams.
  • Lasts at least five years in comparison to 10 to 15 years of other materials 
  • May chip off the tooth depending on location;
  • Can be twice as costly as amalgams;
  • Can take more time to receive and may require more appointments.
  • Life of more than 15 years;
  • More stain-resistant than composite resin.
Can be as expensive as gold.
Glass ionomer (acrylic and a specific type of glass material)
  • Mostly used for dental fillings under the gums;
  • Can help protect from further tooth decay.
  • Is more fragile than composite resin, as it is more likely to wear and prone to breakage;
  • Lasting only five years or less;
  • Similar cost to that of composite fillings.

4. What are the types of dental fillings?

The dentist will take into consideration the location and extent of the decay as well as the cost of filling material to decide the right type of filling for you.

5. Indirect fillings

dental filling

Indirect fillings are similar to composites or other filling materials but they are created in the dental lab and require 2 office visits. Indirect fillings are a good option when there is not enough tooth structure for direct fillings but the tooth is not so damaged that a crown is needed.

On your first visit, an old filling or decay will be taken off and cleaned out. Then the dentist will take impressions of your tooth to record the shape of it and the nearby teeth. A temporary filling will be made in the dental lab based on the measurements. You will wear this temporary filling till the next visit to give your teeth protection.

During your second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and check if the indirect filling fits. When everything is good, the indirect filling will be cemented into place.

Indirect fillings come in two types: 

  • Inlays. They are similar to normal fillings but the entire filling is usually located within the cusps or bumps on the chewing surface of the tooth.
  • Onlays. These are more extensive than inlays as they cover more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

The maximum life of inlays and onlays is 30 years, which is more durable than traditional direct filling. They can be made of composites, porcelain, or metals like gold and silver amalgam. Inlays and onlays may weaken the tooth structure but much less than that of traditional fillings.

There are also direct inlays and onlays whose steps are similar to the indirect but the direct ones are created in the dental office and only require one office visit to place. The type of inlays or onlays used depends on your tooth structure as well as the desired aesthetic outcomes.

6. Why temporary filling?

A temporary filling can be used in certain cases as follows:

  • For fillings that take more than one office visit, like indirect fillings;
  • After a root canal treatment;
  • To manage a tooth nerve as the pulp becomes irritated;
  • For an urgent dental treatment, such as a toothache.

However, temporary fillings are only short-term. They typically fall out, chip off, or wear out in a couple of months. Therefore, make sure to make an appointment with your dentist for a permanent filling or else your tooth may get infected or unexpected complications can occur.

7. Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

mới trồng răng sứ nên ăn gì

The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA and many public health institutions verify that silver (which is mercury based) amalgam fillings are safe. That said, the FDA has published updated recommendations regarding the application of amalgam fillings in some patients. They say that the following patients may be at higher risk for adverse health effects from mercury vapors and should avoid receiving these fillings if possible.

People at greater risk include:

  • Pregnant women and the growing fetuses;
  • Women planning to get pregnant;
  • Breastfeeding mothers and the infants;
  • Children, especially those under 6 years old;
  • People afflicted with neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease;
  • Those suffering from compromised kidney function;
  • Those who are sensitive or allergic to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.

Nonetheless, the FDA does not advise taking off dental amalgam in those who are at higher risk as long as the amalgam is in good condition, explaining that doing so would raise exposure to mercury vapor and create more risks than benefits.

8. The aftercare

For your filling to last, apply good oral hygiene and pay regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and check-ups. Brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste and use dental floss as well as antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily.

If the dentist sees that your filling is chipped or doesn’t fit well on your tooth, they will take an X-ray to examine the situation. If your teeth become over-sensitive or you notice a breakage in the filling, reach out to your dentist right away to have it addressed timely.

Give your dental provider a call promptly in the following cases:

  • Your tooth becomes oversensitive;
  • You feel a sharp edge in the filling received;
  • You notice a fracture in a filling or a part of the filling is missing.

Your dentist will take X-rays of the area if they feel that one of your fillings might be broken or leaking. If the filling doesn’t fit tightly on the tooth, food particles and saliva can creep into between the filling and the tooth, which can cause tooth cavities if left unrepaired.

9. What is the reason for sensitive teeth following a dental filling?

trồng răng sứ uy tín tphcm

It is not uncommon to experience sensitive teeth following a dental filling. The tooth may get sensitive to air, pressure, sweets, and temperatures. In most cases, this issue will resolve itself after a couple of weeks. Avoid the culprits of sensitivity until then for your comfort. You won’t need to get a painkiller for this.

If the sensitivity persists after two to four weeks or if you feel like your teeth are severely sensitive, reach out to your dental provider. They may suggest you use a desensitizing toothpaste, apply a desensitizer to your tooth or recommend getting a root canal treatment for your particular case.

10. Where does the ache around my dental filling come from?

A few different things may be causing you pain following the dental filling, depending on the location of the pain you are experiencing.

  • Pain with biting. This is because the new filling is affecting your bite. If this is the case, go back to the dentist and have your filling fixed;
  • Pain when teeth touch. Your pain is likely a result of two different metal surfaces touching. For instance, a tooth with the silver amalgam filling in a newly filled touches a gold crown on another tooth. This pain should subside on its own after just a short time;
  • Toothache. This type of pain might occur if there was deep decay in the tooth pulp. This response can mean that the tissue is no longer healthy and a root canal procedure might be required;
  • Spread pain. Spread pain is pain or sensitivity of the surrounding teeth of the newly filled one. In  this case, there is no issue with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing “the pain signals” up on the surrounding area. This problem should go away itself in one to two weeks.

11. When do you need to have your dental filling replaced?

Dental fillings need to be replaced for the following three main causes

  • Natural wear and tear of the filling. Constant pressure from chewing foods, grinding or clenching teeth can make dental fillings wear out, chip or crack away. Even though you may not be able to be sure that your filling is wearing down, this can be done during a dental check-up as the dentist can totally spot any weaknesses in your dental restoration;
  • Your filling breaks off and decay starts to grow. If the seal connecting the tooth enamel and the dental filling cracks up, food debris and decay-generating bacteria can get uncontrollable beneath your filling. That is when you have to face the risk of having more decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress into infection of the tooth pulp and may result in tooth abscesses;
  • Large filling or large decay. If the filling is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown.

trồng răng sứ mất bao lâu

12. What makes a new filling fall out of place?

New dental fillings that fall off are most likely a result of improper cavity access, contamination in the preparation prior to the filling placement or a break of the restoration from biting or chewing of teeth. Older dental filling will be taken away because of decay or fractures in the remaining tooth.

12.1 A word from Sydney Dental

Hopefully after this one read you will have a good idea of what dental fillings are, the materials, the types, the outcome, and what the options we have available for you as well as if it is something you need for the time being. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

12.2 About us


About Sydney Dental

Sydney Dental Center was established by Master-Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai, who has spent more than 25 years accompanying and bringing more than 10,000 smiles to customers from all over the country. With the motto “Being a true carpenter never closes the back of a cabinet with trash wood, even though no one knows” – (Steve Jobs), Sydney Dental Center takes care with sincerity in every service even the smallest.

The history

Sydney Dental Center was established in 1996 with the forerunner of the dental clinic of Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai at 499-501 Ba Hat, Ward 8, District 10. After a period of operation with constant efforts. With a team of doctors and dental equipment from famous brands in the world, combined with the meticulousness from all services, Sydney Dental Center has won the hearts of many customers.

By the end of 2020, Sydney Dental Center officially opens 1 more facility located at Vinhome golden river Villas, No. 2 Nguyen Huu Canh, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 with the desire to bring high quality dental services. to all customers. Besides developing a chain of clinics in Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney Dental Center also cooperates in development in Hanoi. With the brand name Navii Dental Care, located at 36 Hoa Ma, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi and 42 Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Besides, Sydney Dental System has a plan to develop on a national scale with the leading dental chain system in the country.

Meet our team

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai

Sydney Dental was established in 1996 by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai. With the motto “When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it” – Steve Jobs, Sydney Dental strives to offer every single service with absolute care and sincerity and has captured the hearts of numerous customers.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai is a specialist in implants and cosmetic veneers, especially Laminate veneers. He has spent more than 25 years accompanying customers from all over the country, bringing them more than 10.000 bright smiles.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai’s qualifications:

  • Graduated with a Master of Dentistry from the University of Sydney, Australia;
  • Graduated from the Master Implant program at Loma Linda University and giDEEducation Institute, Los Angeles, America;
  • Certificate in Implant Expertise from Harvard University, Boston.

Currently, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hai is also a member of ITI Implant Society (International Team Implantology) in Switzerland, a member of DentalXP Implant Association in the USA, a member of giDE Education Implant Association in the USA, and a member of WAUPS Implant Society in Korea.

Dr. Le Thi Thai Hoa

Dr. Le Thi Thai Hoa graduated with high distinction from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City with a bachelor’s degree in surgical dentistry. She attended a long-term abroad program in France after graduation. Dr. Hoa is one of the leading specialists in implant dentistry in Vietnam.

Dr. Nguyen Thao Nguyen

  • Graduated from the department of Odonto-Stomatology at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City
  • BIOMEDE certification
  • Invisalign provider
  • Orthodontic mini Residency in Clear Aligner Technique certification.
  • Oral & maxillofacial specialist
  • Senior implant specialist
  • Around 15 years of experience

Dr. Ngo Cong Uan

  • Graduated from the department of Odonto-Stomatology at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City
  • Specialist in Aesthetic Restoration & Minor Surgery
  • Nearly 20 years of experience

Our core values


At Sydney Dental, you are the center of our universe! We put you, yes you, first by being all ears to your concerns and needs to craft personalized services that are of the best quality for you and you only.


We explain to every detail from the get-go what we can do for you, how the treatments are done, the pros and cons, the cost… you name it. Everything is consistent and crystal clear and nothing to worry about once you place your trust in us!

After-sales care 

Treatment done? We’re not done! We still tend to you here at Sydney Dental with follow-ups and guarantees that are well-fitting to your schedule and wants. We care about you to the moon and back and. you. will. know.

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