What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are used to restore worn or damaged teeth and treat tooth decay. Since different types of fillings are better for different conditions, your dentist will help you decide which is right for you. We work to minimise the need for fillings by helping you prevent future dental problems.
Why get a filling?
- To place a filling is a quick procedure: when only one tooth is affected by decay, the filling can be completed in as little as one hour.
- A filling protects your tooth: If your tooth has a cavity, left un-treated, it will become worse and eventually you could lose the tooth if a root canal procedure is not possible.
- Tooth-coloured filling restorations produce a natural appearance and feel. The aim is to restore your tooth to its former glory.
What kind of dental fillings are available?
There are two main types of white fillings: composite resins or porcelain fillings.
Composite resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The materials are placed directly into the cavity, where they harden under an intense blue light. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.
Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a dental lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration is the best tooth-coloured material for a filling.
There are also Gold fillings: gold fillings (also called gold inlays) are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material, but with the obvious aesthetic downside being, it is non-tooth coloured.
Are there any side-effects of getting a filling?
Some patients experience some sensitivity to hot and cold in the weeks following the procedure, especially for deep fillings.