You will most likely have to get a filling if you have a cavity. Today, our Amherstburg dentists discuss the different types of fillings that you might be able to consider.
What are Dental Fillings?
Fillings are a type of dental restoration that can be used to restore the function, appearance, and structure of a decayed or damaged tooth. This also helps alleviate any pain you might be feeling.
Why Dental Fillings are Used
Fillings can be used to help correct tooth decay, fractures, and cracks. They help restore your tooth to its function and in some cases can help make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
Signs You Might Require a Filling
While it's always best to schedule an appointment with your dentist, to find out if you need a filling, we have listed some signs that may indicate you have a cavity and require a filling. Contact your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below:
- You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth.
- An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
- You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
What Fillings are Made From
A handful of materials can be used to make dental fillings, such as porcelain, composite, gold, and amalgam. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to treating decay or a cavity. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you.
Porcelain Fillings for Appearance & Strength
Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer-lasting than a regular dental filling.
You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.
Composite Fillings Look & Feel Natural
Since they are a similar colour to your natural teeth, composite fillings typically blend in fairly well with the neighbouring teeth.
They have a natural feel and appearance which makes them popular with patients that are worried about how amalgam (grey) fillings could look on teeth that are visible when they smile.
Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.
Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.
To harden each layer, a curing light is used. When the final layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.
Gold Fillings are Durable
A model of your tooth is used to make a cast gold filling. Made from a combination of gold combined and other materials like copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.
It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.