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What Are Dental Fillings? Your Complete Guide

Dental filling process
13 May 2024

Dental fillings are a common dental treatment used to repair teeth damaged by tooth decay. When a tooth cavity forms, it can compromise the tooth structure, leading to discomfort or even tooth loss if not taken care of.

Fillings help restore the tooth’s shape and function, preventing further decay and maintaining overall oral hygiene. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the main types of fillings, why you might need them, and what you can expect from the process.

What Are The Different Types of Fillings?

There are several types of fillings, each suited to different needs:

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, often referred to as silver fillings, dental amalgam is made from a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It is durable and cost-effective, making it ideal for filling cavities in the back teeth where chewing pressure is greatest. However, as they are silver in colour, they are very obvious and so have become a less popular choice.

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are tooth-coloured fillings are made of composite resin. They are a popular option for patients as they match the natural colour of your teeth, making them a great choice for treatment in visible areas. They let you smile confidently throughout your day.

Glass Ionomer

This filling material is made from a type of glass and acrylic. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride to help protect the tooth from further decay, although they’re less durable than other types.

Gold Fillings and Gold Inlays

Known for their durability, these are more expensive but can last for decades. A gold crown is also a variant of this and is used when more extensive repair is needed.

Ceramic Fillings

Typically made of porcelain, these are both durable and look natural, making porcelain fillings a preferred choice for those who want a solution that blends into their smile.

Temporary Filling

This tooth filling is used when a dental condition needs multiple appointments. A temporary filling protects the tooth until the final, permanent filling, or other treatment, is placed.

Why Do People Need Tooth Fillings?

The main reason for a filling is to repair a decayed tooth that has developed a cavity. Cavities occur when bacteria react with sweet foods and produce acids that erode or break down your tooth enamel.

Regular dental care, including brushing and flossing, is essential to prevent decay, but once a cavity forms, a filling is necessary to prevent further damage.

There are other cases where a tooth filling may be needed, such as tooth grinding that removes your enamel or a chipped tooth that leaves you with a sharp edge.

What’s Involved in The Filling Process?

The process for getting a filling is fairly straightforward; here’s a basic breakdown of the procedure:

  1. Your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth so you don’t feel any discomfort.
  2. The decayed tooth material is removed, and the cavity is cleaned to remove bacteria and debris.
  3. Your chosen filling material is applied to the cavity and shaped to match your tooth’s original form.
  4. A special light might be used to harden the filling; this usually happens for composite materials.

How Do You Care For Your Teeth After a Filling?

After you get a filling, it’s normal to feel some sensitivity in the area, especially to hot, cold, or sweet foods. This pain should calm within a few weeks, but during and after this time, it’s really important to keep a strong oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss daily, avoid strong pressure, such as when you open packages with your teeth, and make sure you attend regular dental checkups. This will help make sure your fillings and overall dental health are kept in great condition.

Should I Choose Modern or Traditional Fillings?

While traditional filings, like gold and amalgam, are still used today, modern options such as composite and porcelain fillings have potentially more advantages. They match the natural colour of your teeth and are continually improving in durability.

Your choice of dental filling material will depend on things like where your cavity is located in your mouth, how you would prefer it to look, how strong it needs to be and your budget.

Get Your Filling With Aesthetique And Bring Back Your Smile

No matter what type of filling you choose, our team at Aesthetique can help. With years of experience behind us, we understand that every smile is unique. That’s why our tailored approach ensures your filling not only brings back function but also maintains the natural beauty of your teeth.

Dealing with tooth decay can be painful, but with our modern techniques and compassionate care, getting a filling is a straightforward and stress-free process. So why wait? Bring back your smile and your confidence at Aesthetique. Book your consultation today.

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