What are fillings?
Fillings help to restore teeth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape, and helps prevent further decay by eliminating areas where bacteria can enter the teeth. Our dentist chooses from a variety of filling options based on the type and location of the filling:
- Composite Fillings
A composite resin filling is made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles and matches the colour of the tooth. Thus, composite fillings are used most often on front teeth or the visible parts of the tooth.
- Gold Fillings
Gold fillings are made from gold alloy which is extremely durable. This type of filling lasts longer than any other type. Gold fillings do not match the natural colour of your teeth and most often used for fillings in the back teeth.
- Ceramic Fillings
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are tooth coloured, so they look natural. Ceram-ic fillings are more brittle than composite resin and can break but they are more resistant to staining.
- Glass Lonomer
Glass Ionomer fillings are made from acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate, a component of glass. This type of filling is very strong and most often used in people with a lot of decay in the part of the tooth that extends below the gum. It is also used for filling baby teeth.
Why do I need treatment?
During the dental checkup, our dentist will examine the surfaces of each tooth to check whether you have any cavity that needs to be filled. Our dentist will then consider a number of factors when choosing which type of filling material is best for you; this includes the ex-tent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain dental materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed and the cost.
What does the treatment involve?
This procedure can be done in a single office visit.
To help minimise the pain associated with getting a filling, our dentist may choose to ad-minister a local anaesthetic. Next, our dentist will remove decay from the tooth, using a drill or laser. Once all the decay is removed, our dentist will shape the space to prepare it for the filling. Different types of fillings require different shaping procedures to make sure they will stay in place. Certain types of fillings get hardened by a special light. With these fillings, our dentist will layer the material, stopping several times to shine a bright light on the resin. This (hardens) the material and makes it strong. Finally, after the filling is placed, your dentist will use burs to finish and polish the tooth surface.
What type of anaesthetic is used?
Local anaesthetic, such as lidocaine, is used to numb the part of the mouth that our dentist is treating.
How long does the procedure take?
Filling is a common and relatively simple procedure. A typical filling procedure takes about an hour. If you have several cavities that need to be filled, our dentist may treat them over multiple visits.
What to expect after the procedure?
After a filling procedure, the tooth may be sensitive to pressure, cold air or liquids or sweet foods. Some patients many experience numbness, tingling, and some minor pain around the injection site. These effects often subside within a few hours of the procedure.