Bonded fillings work by restoring the health and appearance of your smile in just one visit to your dentist. Composed of composite resin, bonded fillings are coloured to seamlessly match your natural teeth in look and feel. Furthermore, bonding resin can be used to fill in cavities to stop decay or to correct some cosmetic issues such as small gaps and chips. 

In Canada, many people wonder about the efficacy of bonded fillings. For some, it is a question of whether the cost of this treatment is worth it. In this article, we will show you how bonded fillings work. More importantly, we will answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding this treatment. Keep reading to find out more!

Bonded Fillings: What to Expect

The work of bonded fillings are to function as a solution to tooth decay. Though fillings are not considered a cosmetic procedure, the natural coloration of the resin makes them aesthetically pleasing. Most bonded filling procedures will only require one session, and you can expect the following: 


Firstly, your dentist will take an x-ray of your teeth to determine where cavities are and how severe they are. The severity of your situation will determine how long the procedure will take and the anesthesia required.

Local Anesthesia

You will most likely be given a local anesthetic around the gum of the affected tooth. This will involve a numbing gel and then an injection into the gum. In the majority of cases, no further pain management will be required. If you are wondering how bonded fillings work, a good place to start is to know that any pain during the procedure is adequately managed. 

Removal of Decay

Before the tooth can be filled, the affected area is thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the placement of the filling. Prepping will include roughening the surface of your tooth to create a better grip with the resin. 


Your dentist will first determine the exact shade of the filling required to match your natural teeth. Once the shade is found, the resin will be precisely poured into the cavity.


It is then shaped to resemble the natural look of your tooth. Ultraviolet light is used to cure or set the resin and ensure it bonds to your tooth. Finally, the tooth is polished and you should be able to resume normal activities directly after. 

So you see, bonded fillings can be installed via a simple process. In the next section, we will answer some of the more common questions about how they work. Keep reading for more info!

Related Article: Different Types of Dental Fillings

How Bonded Fillings Work: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the popular questions asked about the use of bonded fillings in Canada.

Do Bonded Fillings Hurt?

With modern techniques and local anesthetic, pain during the procedure is minimal. In fact, you should feel very little thanks to the numbing agent used beforehand. Also, after the procedure, it is common to experience some sensitivity. Hot or cold foods can exacerbate this. However, this increased sensitivity should only last for a few days. If you find it lasting longer or getting worse, you should contact your dentist.  

Bonding Vs. Bonded Fillings 

Both bonding and bonded fillings are dental procedures that work using resin to match the natural colour of your teeth. However, bonding refers to a cosmetic procedure. During bonding, the resin material is used to fill in chips, cover discoloration, or enlarge the tooth to fill in gaps. In contrast, the how-to for bonded fillings can be described as a plugging process (of cavities) to stop decay. The process and cost for both procedures are similar. 

Dental Bonding Vs. Veneers

Veneers, like bonding, are often used to correct the shape and colour of teeth. These thin porcelain sheets are placed directly over the teeth with a permanent bonding agent. When comparing veneers to bonded fillings, several factors should be considered:

  • Longevity: Bonding resin is durable and will last many years when cared for properly. However, the porcelain used to create veneers is stronger and resistant to stains while resin composite will stain similarly to how your natural teeth stain.  
  • Process: Bonded fillings are typically done in one session while veneers will require a minimum of two or even three. If your aim is to get your teeth fixed as quickly as possible, bonding may be the better choice. 
  • Cost: Typically, the cost of bonding is less that of veneers. However, if you are getting full-mouth restoration done, the cost difference may be negligible.  If this is the case, veneers offer the added advantage of lasting longer and not staining which will make them a better deal in the long term. 

Are Bonded Fillings Better than Amalgam?

Bonded fillings have become an increasingly popular alternative to silver (amalgam) and gold fillings. While still considered safe, amalgam fillings contain mercury which has raised some concerns in the dental community. 

However, studies have shown the amount of mercury you are exposed to from a filling is minimal. Mercury can be found naturally in our environment and the mercury in a dental filling is less than other conventional sources like soil or even air. 

Since both filling types are considered safe, there are other factors you can use to decide if bonded fillings are best for you, or not.


Amalgam fillings are made of more cost-effective materials and require a less labour-intensive process to produce. Because of this, they are cheaper than bonded fillings. Also, they are likely to last longer further reducing your expenses over a lifetime. 


Though bonded fillings are likely to last a respectable ten years when properly cared for, amalgam fillings can last upwards of 15. Both of these numbers are basic guidelines and your fillings may last more or less depending on extenuating factors. Regular dental appointments and proper dental care will extend the life of any filling you choose to get.


When perfectly matched to your own tooth colour, bonded fillings are not distinguishable from your natural teeth. This feature is crucial to how bonded fillings work. In fact, it is one that makes the cost of bonded fillings in Canada worth it.

Amalgam fillings, while durable and cost-effective will be easily seen on front teeth and even back teeth when you open your mouth. Most people who choose bonded fillings, do so because of their natural appearance.

Allergen Warning

Though they are called silver fillings, amalgam fillings are composed of several different metals including mercury, zinc and metal alloy. Some people may have an allergy or sensitivity to this that will cause them to have rashes, itching and other allergic symptoms. An allergy to amalgam is rare but it is worth considering before choosing this type of filling.

Best Uses

Bonded fillings work best for teeth at the front of the mouth where they are most visible. On the other hand, amalgam fillings are best suited to back teeth. These teeth are used to chew harder, crunchier items. As a result, the reduced visibility and the durability of amalgam fillings is a plus.

Related Article: Dental Crowns vs Dental Implants 

How Bonded Fillings Work: Caring for Your Bonded Fillings

Caring for your bonded fillings is very similar to caring for your own natural teeth. Because resin can stain, it is a good idea to limit the consumption of certain items like wine and coffee. Smoking will also lead to staining. 

Bonded fillings are durable to an extent, but not as strong as your natural teeth. Hard and chewy foods should be avoided or eaten with caution as a filling can crack or pull loose. This is especially true for a filing that has been placed within the last few days or one that has been in place for more than a decade. 

Other than this caution, the care for your bonded fillings is the same as it would be for your natural teeth. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day and keeping up with regular dental appointments. 

To Sum It Up 

Getting bonded fillings is a simple procedure that offers a truckload of benefits. Ajax Dentist offers a full range of dental filling solutions. Whether you need a new filling for a cavity, bonding for a chipped tooth or a replacement filling, our caring and knowledgeable staff is here for you. Contact us at 905 903 3848 to schedule your consultation today! Alternatively, you can fill out a quick form here.