If one of your teeth has a cavity odds are you will need a filling to help repair your tooth. However, did you know there are different types of fillings? Today, our dentists in Parksville share some of the reasons why you may need a filling, as well as the different kinds of fillings your dentist might have available.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are used to help restore the function, appearance and structure of a tooth that is damaged or decayed. They also, help alleviate any pain you may be feeling in your tooth.
What can dental fillings be used for?
Tooth fillings are able to help repair cracks, fractures, and even tooth decay. They help return your tooth's functionality and sometimes, your dentist can use fillings to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
Are there signs that could tell me if I need a dental filling?
While you need to make an appointment with your dentist who will be able to confirm if you need a filling, we have listed some of the signs that could indicate that you require a dental filling. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms below make an appointment with your dentist as quickly as possible:
- You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- When you look at your teeth, you see a dark spot or hole.
- Your tooth is chipped or broken.
- 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 can dental fillings be made from?
Dental fillings could be made from a variety of materials such as amalgam, composite, porcelain, and gold. Tough, all of these materials are safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of repairing a cavity or decay. Below, our dentists provide advice on how you can make the right dental choice for you.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance
Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. They are crafted in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are generally applied to molars as they are more durable and 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 Appearance & Feeling
Because they are close to the same colour as natural teeth, composite fillings generally blend in well with the surrounding teeth.
They feel and appear natural, and are a popular choice among patients that are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings can 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
Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. Created from a combination of gold and other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is constructed 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 (usually lasting 20 or more years) it's also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.