What is a dental filling?
Dental fillings are made of special materials that are used to help rebuild or restore tooth structure and tooth function, when the tooth has been damaged. Teeth may become damaged as a result of dental decay, chipping, fractures, trauma to the teeth while playing sports or participating in certain activities. While dental fillings can restore tooth function and shape in many cases, sometimes a dental crown may be needed for larger restorations.
Dental filling types
There are many types of dental filling materials available to suit your dental needs. Each type of dental filling material has their own advantages and disadvantages. Your dentist will determine the best dental filling material based on your needs.
- Porcelain dental fillings – fillings of these types can be made to match your natural teeth colour for a great cosmetic look. Porcelain dental fillings are commonly used for dental onlays or dental inlays. They are custom-made by a dental laboratory, then used by your dentist to be bonded to your tooth. Porcelain dental fillings are good at resisting stains.
- Silver fillings – silver fillings may also be referred to as amalgam fillings. They are more resistant to wear than the other dental filling materials. Due to their dark colour, they are usually used on the teeth in the back of the mouth, where they are not easily noticeable.
- Composite resin fillings – this is a common type of dental filling material that offers a seamless match to your nearby teeth. Composite resin fillings are commonly used for front teeth for a great cosmetic look. They are not as strong as other dental filling materials, so they are not used on teeth in the back of the mouth or for very large dental fillings in most cases.
- Gold fillings – these are also custom-made in a dental laboratory, then permanently cemented into place by your dentist. The soft tissues of the mouth can tolerate gold filling material well. Gold fillings can last 20 years or more and are considered the best option when it comes to dental filling materials.
Dental Filling Process
When your dentist has detected signs of decay or damage to your tooth, they will remove the area of decay from the tooth and clean the area. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned, a dental filling material will be used to fill and replace the area with dental decay. The dental filling will be manipulated so that it matches the size and shape of the tooth’s natural look. Simple dental fillings only require one appointment when a small amount of dental fillings are required.
Contact us to get more information about dental fillings or if you would like to discuss other dental treatment options.