Dental Fillings: 4 Common Myths

28 July 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Fillings are a common dental treatment which is used to fill cavities on your teeth. Cavities can expose nerve and the soft tissue inside the tooth, which leads to pain and sensitivity. If the cavity is left untreated, it can lead to further decay and the eventual loss of the tooth. That is why it is important that you receive a filling at the earliest opportunity. However, some people avoid going to the dentist to have their cavities treated because of misunderstandings about fillings. Below are 4 myths about dental fillings.

Getting a dental filling will really hurt

Because of advancements in dental technology and practice, getting a filling is no longer a painful procedure. Your dentist will administer a local anaesthetic before they begin treatment to numb any pain. You may experience a little tenderness and sensitivity for a short while during recovery, but there is no need to worry about extreme pain.

You can't get a filling while pregnant

Getting a filling while pregnant is safe. This is because a local anaesthetic is used to numb the treatment area rather than general anaesthetic. General anaesthetic fully sedates you and makes you and your unborn baby lose consciousness. This could place the baby at risk. However, the local anaesthetic used during fillings only numbs the small area of your mouth being worked on by the dentist, this means it is completely safe. However, you should inform your dentist that you are pregnant so that they are aware when treating you.

Metal fillings can cause cancer

This myth plays on the idea that the metals inside metallic fillings such as silver, mercury, tin and copper car somehow enter your blood stream, leading to the development of cancer around the body. While some metal may enter your bloodstream once a filling as been fitted, there is no evidence that it causes any damage.

Some people have a genetic flaw which causes cavities

Cavities are a result of erosion caused by the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. No one is genetically predisposed to cavities or tooth decay. The cause of tooth decay is poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth can help to keep cavities at bay and prevent the need for dental fillings.

If you have any concerns about your oral health or fillings, you should book an appointment with your family dentist who will be able to offer further help and advice.