When you visit for your routine check-up, we examine your oral health and the surfaces of your teeth. A filling is usually recommended if any cavities are found.
Don’t worry! The area to be filled is first gently and carefully numbed – you won’t feel anything.
Fillings present a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay or a cavity, back to its original shape. When performing a dental filling, the decayed area of the tooth is removed, cleaned, then filled with a unique material that your dentist will shape to the natural form of the original tooth.
If decay has affected the nerve, your dentist may recommend a root canal to remove any damaged tissue, then fill the hole with one of the four filling materials. In most cases, porcelain or composite fillings are typically recommended. Gold fillings are a favourite, although most people want fillings that will match the natural colour of their teeth.
Fillings work by blocking the area where bacteria enters into teeth and helps to prevent cavities and decay later in life. Materials used for fillings usually are porcelain, gold, composite resin, or amalgam. The most suitable type of filling for you is determined by several factors including reactions to the different material, the shape of the tooth, the extent of repair required, and exactly where the filling is needed will be determining criteria as to which material is used with your filling.
How long does a dental restoration using fillings take?
The filling procedure takes typically less than an hour. The actual procedure takes around 20 minutes however we always allow extra time to enable any anaesthetic to take effect and for you to become comfortable.
How long do Dental Fillings last?
According to a study by Forss (2001), amalgam dental fillings have an average lifespan of twelve years, and composite fillings have an average lifespan of five years.
Fillings can sometimes become loose and fall out. Although not usually an emergency, it can cause pain as exposed tooth tissue is often sensitive to pressure, airflow or hot and cold temperatures. Often, a filling or crown may come loose because decay has developed underneath it.
Which materials are used in Dental Fillings?
A composite filling is the most common material used and matches the colour of your natural teeth. The composite filling material is mixed then placed directly in the cavity, where it hardens. Composite fillings last several years, however, aren’t recommended for large cavities, or areas prone to chipping.
Porcelain fillings are very common and produced in our lab. The porcelain material will be matched to your teeth then bonded to the affected tooth. Porcelain fillings are made to match the natural colour of your teeth and are resistant to any staining. The costs for porcelain fillings can be as much as gold fillings.
We make Gold fillings in our laboratory and are then bonded into place by your dentist. The gold material fits well with your gums and often remains for life. Gold is considered to be the longest lasting filling, although it is the highest cost option and will require several appointments before the filling will be complete.
Silver fillings are less expensive than gold materials and are quite resistant to wear. With their darker colour, silver fillings are more noticeable and so not recommended for visible areas at the front of your mouth.
Need more than a filling?
A Dental crown may be a suitable option if there’s not enough remaining tooth left to support a filling.
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