“Dental Fillings help in treating a cavity when there is decay, or repair broken or chipped teeth caused by nail biting, teeth grinding, or trauma.”
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Come in for a consultation with one of our dentists to get understand more about dental fillings and how they may be beneficial for you.
Dental Tooth Fillings – What Are They?
Dental Filling treatment is used in treating a tooth cavity when there is dental decay, or is used to repair broken or chipped teeth.
Dental fillings are a form of restorative dentistry that treat oral cavities and decays present in a tooth to help to restore function in the tooth by replacing tooth structure that had been lost.
If the tooth is suitable for dental filling treatment, the dentist will remove all damaged and bacteria infected tissue of the tooth, then up the missing tooth structure with the appropriate dental filling material in order to restore form and function to the treated tooth.
Undergoing a dental filling treatment serves to remove bacteria and damaged issue from the tooth and also to give the tooth the much needed structural support in order for it to carry out its day-to-day function. The filling fills up the cavity, reducing the both tooth sensitivity and a recurrence of dental decay on the tooth.
Traditionally, dental teeth fillings were made from silver amalgam, giving the tooth a metallic look after the procedure is completed. However, there are other more aesthetically pleasing options available to patients nowadays. Most tooth-coloured resin materials are composed of highly aesthetic fillings regarded as ceramic restorations or composite resin fillings.
Type of Dental Fillings Available
Dental Fillings can be classified into 2 categories, direct or indirect restorations.
These are often selected from smaller cavities and are done in just a visit. Some common materials like composite resin (tooth-coloured) or silver amalgam are used. After a tooth is prepared, a soft filling made from the material is placed into the cavity, and as it sets, the material becomes harder, sealing the cavity and giving the tooth the needed structural support.
These are used when the cavity is too large for direct restorations and two visits are usually required, as well as solid restorations. Some common materials for indirect restorations include:
- Ceramic: can match the teeth colour for a natural finish and has a high bio-compatibility with the gum
- Gold: can withstand the test of time, as much as 20 years and even more
- Hybrid ceramics: helpful in reducing wear of opposing teeth as well as flexibility than ceramics
There are 2 types of Indirect restorations made from ceramic, Onlays and Inlays. Dental impressions of the mouth are required in order to prepare these types of indirect restorations in a dental laboratory.
Inlays are fitted directly into the tooth’s large cavity, while Onlays are a replacement of the missing tooth cusp, which is the elevated point of a tooth. – Read more
When Do I Need a Dental Filling?
Most patients only require a dental filling when there is a cavity in their tooth, also commonly known as tooth decay. This oral health issue is caused by bacteria found in plaque (the hardened result of tartar accumulation) accumulates on and around the tooth. This bacteria thrives on sugars that we ingest and secretes an acidic substance that breaks down the tooth structure, creating a hole or cavity in the tooth, causing even more bacteria to fester and grow.
Dental cavities typically do not cause any pain or discomfort at the early stages of tooth decay. As such, many patients don’t even realise that they’re suffering from dental decay until the later more advanced stages of dental decay set it. Cavities usually start to occur in places where food get trapped, such as the gaps between teeth, making them even more harder to detect. Regular dental check-ups are the best way you can identify dental decay in the early stages, allowing our dentists to treat your condition before they begin to cause serious damage to your teeth.
Why Do I Need to Treat My Dental Cavity?
Untreated dental cavities will only get larger and deeper, resulting in the the decayed tissue remaining exposed to even more bacteria which thrives on the food particles that get stuck in the dental cavities. This dental decay will get worse and eventually spread from the enamel layer of the tooth, into the dentin later and then the dental pulp. When the dental pulp becomes inflamed, intense toothaches become a daily occurrence and can only be resolved through a root canal treatment, which is a lot more costly as compared to a dental filling.
Therefore, it is advised to get a dental filling done as soon as possible if required.
Symptoms of Dental Decay?
- Toothache that occurs without apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking
- Pain when you bite/chew
- Visible holes or pits on tooth
- Uneven discolouration of tooth
- Food frequently getting caught in the same area
Frequently Asked Questions
Commonly asked questions our dentists get about Dental Fillings
Does Getting A Dental Filling Hurt?
There will be some discomfort that patient will have to go through when getting a dental filling. However, most patients find the discomfort bearable. Depending on the extent of decay and threshold of the patient, this may vary. Local anesthetic is available on request of the patient for a pain-free dental filling treatment.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
Dental fillings do not last forever and will need to replaced.
Typically direct dental fillings made from composite materials (tooth coloured material) may last up to 5 – 7 years before needing to be replaced. Silver amalgam last longer, up to 10 – 15 years before needing to be replaced.
Indirect dental fillings such as Inlays and Onlays, have the potential to last the longest with proper dental care, being able to last up to 20 – 30 years before needing to be replaced.
*These figures are arbitrary and do not reflect for all cases. Each patient and their case is unique, as such the duration of which how long each filling may last, will defer from patient to patient.
Some possible reasons to get a filling replaced are:
- Worn out or chipped filling
- Stains on filling
- New decay has formed
- Remaining tooth structure has broken down
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Other Dental Services
Here are some other services related to Dental Fillings that you might be interested in
Wisdom Tooth Surgery – Wisdom Tooth Removal
Root Canal Treatment – The Magic Within the Pulp
At NoFrills Dental, we take great pride in delivering a holistic high quality dental experience through our professional excellence.
We believe in accessible & affordable dental care for all.