Restorative Dental Services: Dental Fillings
If you are suffering from the pain and damage of decay or tooth injuries then you will need to have a dental filling placed to help restore the tooth.
When might dental fillings be used?
Tooth fillings can fix fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. These dental restorations can not only restore the functionality of your teeth but also in some cases can also alter the appearance in a cosmetic manner.
How can you tell if you need a filling?
While you should see a dentist to confirm whether you need a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. If you note any of the following signs then you should contact your dentist right away:
- 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?
Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Our dentists offer some of the key information about each type of dental filling:
The Strength of Porcelain Fillings
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 strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling.
If you choose to go with a porcelain filling then you will need to attend two dental appointments to have it placed.
A Natural Look With Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are a popular choice among dentists and patients due to their ability to blend in well with the surrounding 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.
Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. Another benefit is that the dentist will not need to remove as much of your natural tooth in order to place this type of filling.
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.
Your dentists will use a special curing light to harden each layer of the composite material. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.
Durability From Gold Fillings
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.