If you develop cavities, you will likely need fillings to restore your tooth. Here, we explain why you might need a filling and what different options you have.
What are dental fillings?
Fillings are restorations used to address the function, structure and appearance of a tooth that has been damaged or decayed to alleviate pain.
Why are dental fillings used?
Fillings can fix fractures, cracks or decay in your teeth. They help to restore functionality to your teeth and, in some circumstances, can be used to help make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
How do I know I need a dental filling?
You should see a dentist to confirm whether you require a filling. But here are some signs you can check for on your own before booking an appointment:
- Food gets stuck between certain teeth.
- You feel consistent pain in your tooth.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- You see a hole or dark spot in a tooth.
- An existing filling has broken.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- You've lost a filling and need a replacement.
What are dental fillings made of?
Dental fillings can be made from a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, gold or porcelain. Each of these materials are safe and long-lasting and offer their own advantages and disadvantages for repairing your decay or cavities.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength
Porcelain fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab, they are usually used on molars since they are durable and long-lasting.
You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look
Since they look similar to natural teeth, composite fillings will blend into your smile.
These fillings look and feel natural. They are popular with patients that are concerned with how grey fillings appear when in their smile.
Dentists apply these fillings in layers and then use a curing light to harden them. When the last layer is done, the filling will be shaped to match your teeth.
Gold Fillings for Durability
Gold fillings are made from a model of your tooth. Composed of gold as well as other materials, these fillings are created in a lab and then sent to your dentist.
The fillings is then cemented into your mouth. Although this filling is the most durable (usually lasting 20 or more years) it is also costly. These fillings require two appointments to place.
Do you suspect that you require a filling for a cavity or crack in your teeth?
A dentist will be able to answer any of your questions and recommend appropriate treatment options.