Why do I need a Filling?
Tooth decay affects people of all ages and backgrounds. When it does, you want to treat it while it’s still small; otherwise, cavities can spread to adjacent teeth or evolve into dental abscesses. In particular, baby (primary) teeth in children can erode at an accelerated rate when compared to the permanent (adult) tooth structure.
How do I know I need a filling?
Sometimes cavities make themselves obvious by causing throbbing toothaches or serious pain when you eat. Other times, they’re less noticeable or don’t hurt at all, and that’s when you have to look out for signs like
- Rough or sharp tooth surfaces
- Sensitivity to particular foods or drinks
- Food catching between teeth
During your checkup, we may take an X-ray that allows us to see deeper into the tooth to determine how deep the cavity is and which surfaces are involved.
How can I avoid having fillings?
Schedule a checkup every six months to screen for tooth decay and incorporate preventative measures that make teeth stronger. From fissure sealants to professional-strength fluoride, we’ll help you stop cavities from spreading before they even have the chance.
What are my choice of fillings materials?
1. Composite Resin (White) Dental Fillings
These are today’s filling materials of choice, tooth-colored and made of mercury-free resin which bonds closely with tooth enamel. It comes in a variety of shades, allowing us to select the one that best matches your smile. Not only are white fillings more aesthetically pleasing, they’re also less invasive than conventional amalgam restorations. If you have one placed at the front of your mouth, no one should know it’s there.
Composite fillings can last a very long time. Composites are not only used to restore decayed areas but are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
How is a composite placed?
Following preparation, the dentist places the composite in layers, using a light specialized to harden each layer.
When the process is finished, the dentist will shape the composite to fit the tooth.
The dentist then polishes the composite to prevent staining and early wear.
How long does it take to place a composite resin filling?
It takes the dentist about 10-20 minutes to place a composite. Placement time depends on the size and location of the cavity-the larger the size, the longer it will take.
2. Ceramic Inlays (porcelain)
These restorations are used when you have lost 50-60% of your tooth structure due to extensive fracture of tooth structure or large cavity.
These are necessary when the remaining tooth structure after a cavity is not fit enough to withstand biting force and is too extensive to hold composite resin restorations.
They are much stronger than plastic restorations and are made in a laboratory.
They require two visits to do.
On the first visit, we remove the decay, old restoration, and fractures if any.
An impression/scan is taken and sent to a laboratory.
In the meantime, a temporary filling is placed.
On the second visit, the temporary restoration is removed and the definitive porcelain inlay is placed.