What is the purpose of dental fillings?
If you experienced dental damage or decay then your dentist may use a filling to help restore the strength and appearance of your tooth. This can also relieve the pain that you may be experiencing because of the damage you sustained.
Why would your dentist recommend dental fillings?
Your dentist can use dental fillings to repair cracks and tooth decay. They help restore functionality to your tooth and in some circumstances, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
What are the signs that you may be in need of a dental filling?
While a dental exam is the only way to be sure that you are in need of a dental filling, there are a few signs that can be a good indication.If you experience any of these, schedule an appointment with your dentist:
- You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth.
- An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
- You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
What are the different types of dental fillings available?
Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. Each possible option can complete the job of protecting your tooth, however, each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you.
Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these dental fillings are stronger than normal fillings and a great choice for the molars.
You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.
Composite fillings are an ideal option for those who would prefer their fillings blend in with their natural teeth.
They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.
composite fillings are a popular option among dentists due to their ease of use with this type. Dentists can easily shape and place them. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.
Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.
A curing light is used to harden each layer. Your dentist will shape this filling at the end of the hardening and applying process in order to ensure it blends in with the surrounding teeth.
Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.
It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.