If you have a dental cavity, you will likely need a filling to restore the health and structure of your tooth. DIfferent kinds of fillings are available to get the job done here. In this post, our Markham dentists explain why you'd need a tooth filling, and describe different types of fillings to consider.
What are dental fillings?
These restorations are used to restore the structure, function and appearance of a tooth that's been damaged or decayed, alleviating tooth pain you may be experiencing.
Why are dental fillings used?
Dental fillings can restore fractures, cracks and decay in a tooth. They help to restore a tooth's function and, in some circumstances, can also be used to make cosmetic changes to the appearance of your smile.
What are some signs I may need a dental 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 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 dental fillings made of?
Dental fillings can be made from a number of materials ranging from sliver amalgam and composite resin to porcelain and gold. While each of these materials are both safe and long-lasting, they also come with their own advantages and considerations when it comes to using them to repair a cavity.
Her, our dentists are able to provide some advice to consider when thinking about what filling material works best for you.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance
Also referred to as inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are hard, brittle and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these tooth-coloured restorations ar generally used on molars since they are quite durable and may last longer than a regular dental filling.
You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel
Because they are very similar in colour to natural teeth, composite fillings tend 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. 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. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.
Gold Fillings for Durability
Cats gold fillings are constructed using a model of your toot. They are created from a mixture of gold combines with other materials like silver and copper in a dental lab and then sent back to your dentist's office to be placed in your smile.
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.