If you have tooth decay, but the tooth is worth saving, a filling is the most straightforward solution. Thi Hoang, DDS, Theresa Hoang, DDS, and the team at Las Positas Family Dental in Livermore, California, offer natural-looking filling materials like ceramics to match your existing teeth perfectly. Call the office to see which fillings meet your needs, or schedule a consultation by completing the online booking form today.

What are fillings?

Fillings are a cost-effective, straightforward solution for moderate to severe tooth decay.

Tooth decay causes the enamel to deteriorate, eventually creating a hole (cavity) on the affected tooth’s surface. Signs of cavities include the following:

Persistent toothache

Increased tooth sensitivity

Visible holes or pits in your teeth 

Tooth discoloration

If your tooth suffers damage from decay, Las Positas Family Dental can restore its function and resolve pain with a filling.

Before placing a filling, your dentist takes digital X-rays to examine the tooth’s interior in detail. This is important to ensure you don’t have any infection in the pulp — the soft tissue inside the tooth. If there’s an infection present, you might need an endodontic (root canal) procedure to remove it.

What happens when I have a filling?

The first step in placing a filling is removing decay in the affected tooth. Your dentist ensures you feel no pain during the procedure by injecting a local anesthetic into the area. You may also have a sedative to help you feel relaxed.
They clean out the tooth using special dental tools, ensuring only healthy enamel remains. After a thorough cleaning, your dentist fills the cavity to seal the area.

What are fillings made from?

Fillings can consist of different materials with varying properties:

Amalgam fillings

Amalgam fillings consist of metals, such as a powder alloy made from silver, copper, tin, and liquid mercury. These fillings are the least costly, but the metal doesn’t match your teeth and is highly visible. 

Composite resins

Composite resin fillings match your natural tooth color, so you can’t tell which teeth have fillings. Composite resin can last up to 10 years but may develop stains over time without diligent care.


Ceramic fillings (typically made of porcelain) match your natural teeth like composite resin but are better at resisting stains. Las Positas Family Dental offers custom-made ceramic fillings that your dentist bonds to your teeth.
Before recommending the most suitable material for your fillings, your dentist considers the following factors:

Tooth function

Degree of decay

Your budget

Any allergies

Cavity location

You might be happy to have amalgam for less visible fillings in the rear molars and opt for ceramic fillings in more noticeable areas.
Call Las Positas Family Dental or book an appointment online today to discuss your filling options.