Dental fillings can be perfectly matched to your tooth colour, providing excellent aesthetic results.
Fillings are made of different types of dental materials and can be used to restore a tooth that is damaged due to decay. When a filling needs to be placed, the decayed material from the affected tooth is removed, the area is cleaned out thoroughly of all remaining decay and the tooth is then restored using a filling.
Some of the many metals used in dentistry to replace, restore teeth or improve dental and oral health, have no impact when placed in the mouth. However, some can be toxic causing patients to have allergic or negative reactions towards them.
If a patient has an allergic reaction to the metals, we at Aperture Dental Practice, recommend using plastic and ceramic materials for restorative purposes. These materials are considered a safer and healthier option and have not been unfavourable to oral health thus far.
How do I know if I need a filling?
During your dental check, the dentist will use a small mirror to examine the surface areas of your teeth. This will help the dentist detect if there are any teeth that are decaying and determine if it needs a filling.
Types of fillings available
Filling materials have improved dramatically over the years. Gone are the days where all we had was just one type of filling material for every cavity.
Today’s dental materials are stronger, more reliable, longer lasting, and more predictable and safer. We now have fillings with shades that match almost any tooth colour.
A composite filling is tooth coloured and made of a plastic and glass mixture. It can be very closely matched to the colour of the existing teeth.
Silver amalgams are fillings which contain silver, tin, copper, zinc and about 50% mercury. Some patients may have had harmful effects and consider it a risk; however, other patients are not affected by it.
Silver amalgams are stronger than composite fillings and can last about 10 to 15 years.
Gold Inlays and on lays
These can last about 20 years. They are gold in appearance and considered to be very strong.
A glass ionomer is made of tooth-coloured acrylic and are mainly used for young children’s teeth or as a temporary filling. They do not last very long and are not considered to be very strong.
Ceramic Indirect are made of tooth coloured porcelain which could last between 10 to 15 years.
What happens during a filling
- Local anaesthesia– before the tooth filling procedure begins, you may be given local aesthesia to numb the area around the tooth to avoid any discomfort that may occur during the filling process.
- Tooth decay removal– once the area is numbed, the dentist will cut through the enamel using a drill. Then the decaying part of the tooth is removed and thoroughly cleaned out. After the dentist removes the decay, the dentist will shape the space in the tooth and prepare it for the filling.
- Etching – the dentist will then etch the tooth with an acid gel before placing the filling.
- Resin application– for certain types of fillings the dentist, the resin is applied in layers and hardened using a bright light which makes it stronger.
- Polishing – once the filling has been placed the dentist will polish the tooth.
Benefits of dental fillings:
- The dental fillings procedure is quick and considered virtually pain free.
- The procedure could take about an hour in duration.
- It hardens in a matter of seconds when placed.
- It can be repaired if it gets damaged.
- The fillings can last anything between five to seven years, depending on oral care.
- Tooth coloured fillings resembles the colour of your teeth. They look natural in appearance and can go unnoticed.
The risks and side effects of dental fillings
- Dental fillings may cause some sensitivity to hot and cold in the weeks following the procedure.
- Some pain may be experienced in some cases when biting or applying pressure to the teeth.
- It can be difficult to place a dental filling accurately onto a tooth; therefore, it requires deep concentration.
If high amounts of alcoholic beverages are consumed, this could cause the dental filling to become damaged.
Dental Fillings Sunnybank Hills
If you have a silver filling or a discoloured filling which you want to replace, ask us about your treatment options. Contact us at Aperture Dental in Sunnybank Hills for more information and advice.