How getting a dental filling helps restore your tooth and can prevent further tooth decay.
Tooth decay can negatively affect your smile and if left untreated, it can lead to much more serious health issues like gum disease and infections. Here at Aperture Dental, we take your oral health very seriously by providing thorough examinations, the most effective solutions to tooth decay and cavities. This assists in adding the most value to your beautiful smile, oral health and general wellbeing.
What are dental fillings and how do they work?
Dental fillings are the most effective way to restore your tooth to its original health and prime functionality. Here at Aperture Dental, we offer a variety of dental restorative services to optimise your dental health and satisfaction, ensuring a long lasting impressive smile.
In order to treat cavities, tooth decay and prevent the damage from spreading, the decayed portion of your tooth can be removed and a filler is used to replace the decayed material. Fillings can be used to repair cracked, broken and worn out teeth that occur from misuse (from activities such as teeth grinding or nail biting.)
Dental fillings can also help strengthen the underlying tooth, giving it the support it needs to heal while preventing further damage to the surrounding teeth and gums. Fillings vary in complexity and can be directly placed in the cavity or indirectly placed at a later stage. Indirect restoration occurs when the tooth has too much damage and a crown that fits over the tooth is required. An impression of the shape of the tooth being repaired is made, this will then be used to create a custom filling to “fill” around your tooth, whilst a temporary filling is placed in the meantime.
What steps are involved in filling a tooth?
Firstly, a local anaesthetic is used to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. The decayed area will then be removed. Having a dental filling or a cavity filled is generally a two- step process. Firstly, we remove the decayed matter within the tooth. This decay is caused by a build-up of bacteria that creates cavities. This is then followed by applying a filler material to the portion of tooth that was removed.
Options for dental fillings
There are different materials that can be used as a filler such as;
Amalgam is comprised of metal mixed with mercury. This filler has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. It is made up of durable amalgam so they are resistant to wear and tear, typically lasts about 10-15 years. It is well known for its functionality.
However, it is more noticeable in the mouth due to the dark colour that tends to darken with time. Some patients display hesitance towards amalgam fillings because of the presence of mercury. High levels of mercury are harmful to human health but the level of mercury that is absorbable to the body and used in amalgam fillings is so low it is said to have no effect on health.
Composite/ Tooth-Coloured Fillings
A composite filling is typically made up of powdered glass and acrylic resin. A composite filling is a popular choice amongst patients because it can be shaded to match the colour of your teeth, making it less conspicuous and more natural-looking. This can be especially significant to anyone that struggles with easily seen or a large amount of dental damage and cavities. Composite fillings can be bonded directly to the tooth, making the tooth stronger.
However, the material the filling is made from isn’t as durable as the other options and lasts, on average, only 7-10 years, making multiple future replacements a need.
A gold filling is known for its high level of durability lasting up to 30 years. It is considered if you prefer a very durable filling for your tooth that is tarnish resistant and corrosion resistant that doesn’t let saliva, bacteria and microscopic bits of food seep through into the cavity. Additionally, the gold fillings are said to blend in to the tooth structure more easily than silver fillings. Gold fillings are the most expensive option available. Aesthetically speaking, some patients find gold to be more attractive and eye-pleasing while others disagree.
It is easy to be in the process of tooth decay and needing fillings without evening knowing it. That is why it important to have regular check-ups and examinations!