Damaged or decaying teeth can be restored to their usual function, appearance and feel through the use of dental fillings. A filling is commonly used as a treatment for general cavities caused by a decaying tooth. This procedure is usually non- invasive and, in most cases, is completed in just one trip to the dentist.
Before your filling is fitted, a dental professional will clean and treat your decaying tooth or affected area. Following this, a composite filling material is placed into the tooth to restore your smile! In day to day cases, this treatment is undergone using a local anaesthetic to numb the surrounding area of your mouth, however, it is not always necessary.
How do I know if I need a filling?
Decay can be tricky, sometimes it causes immense pain or sensitivity, and at other times you won’t feel anything at all. If decay is severe, you might even be able to spot a hole in the outer layer of your tooth’s enamel. Although, in most cases, you will only uncover decay through dental X-rays or check-ups. Regular trips to the dentist are the best way to say on top of your dental health and catch signs of decay early on. Early identification of decay means that effects can be treated without the need for dental fillings, so frequent attention is worthwhile. A decay that is left for too long can cause long term damage to the tooth and eventually travel to your nerve, meaning you could be at risk of needing root canal treatment.
Which type of filling is best?
Not all tooth fillings are made the same, but your dentist will help you to determine which type of filling is going to be right for you and your smile. This will be based on how severe your dental damage is, where you need the filling and if you have any allergies. The most common dental filling materials include:
Composite resins are fantastic because they can be matched to the colour of your teeth. This material is known as ‘white fillings’ and it’s popular due to its constant refinement and evolution. It’s strong, durable and can be expected to withstand 5-7 years of use, but this does vary from person to person.
Amalgam use in dental fillings has undergone a steady decline over recent years, regardless of its resistance, strength and longevity. The growing use of resins has overtaken its general popularity. Silver Amalgam is a metal, which means it can expand and crack, resulting in splits, fractures or cracks in your neighbouring natural teeth.
Porcelain and Ceramic
These two are the strongest dental fillings available, they are also very long-lasting and stain-resistant. Impressions will be taken of your tooth, and then sent to a lab so that the filling can be milled into the correct shape. The filling is then bonded to your tooth to repair the structure.
Gold is not used very often in contemporary dentistry. This is because it has a noticeable appearance and is only really suitable for back teeth. Although it is very strong and durable, it’s not so popular these days.
If you spot or feel any symptoms of decay you need to act quickly, be sure to book a check-up today.
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