What are Dental Fillings?
What are fillings?
Fillings are the materials we use to fill holes in your teeth.
Why do I have holes in my teeth?
Holes are caused by a few things, most commonly a hole is caused by decaying teeth or where a tooth has been previously filled and the old filling has been lost.
You can have holes on the sides of your teeth, these can be caused by overbrushing or excessive grinding causing the tooth to fracture.
Why do I need to fill the holes in my teeth?
A hole in a tooth left unfilled will get bigger and cost ore to fix. The bigger the hole, the more likely you are to need Root Canal Therapy and a crown. If the hole gets too large we may be unable to save the tooth and so the only option will be to extract it.
How do you fill the holes in my teeth?
This is a two-step process, the first part is what we call The Preparation where we remove all the weak and decayed parts of the tooth. Once we have a strong structure remaining we move to step two, The Placement of the filling.
What type of tooth filling should I get?
White fillings or tooth coloured fillings come in 3 main types:-
- Glass-Ionomer Fillings – are used as a short term solution for children whose baby teeth will soon fall out. In adults, it is used in cases where patients have decay on almost every tooth. It is a short term temporary solution which can be placed quickly and cheaply. It is designed to be replaced once patients have started a daily brushing, flossing routine and the gums and mouth are in a healthy state. This material lacks strength and breaks down more readily in patients who grind their teeth and have an acidic diet. It is a poor long term filling in adults.
- Composite Fillings – are a great solution for small holes in your teeth. If you have mid-larger holes that cover more than one surface they are a good mid-term treatment option, it is a moderately stronger material and can be placed immediately in a single visit appointment. With good oral care and regular dental visits, this material can last around 5 years. You can eat immediately after having the filling placed and the appointment will take between 30minutes and an hour.
- Inlays/ Onlays – are the best long term solution for mid-larger holes which cover more than one of your tooths surfaces. Once the tooth is prepared a digital scan or mould of the tooth is taken. The digital scan is then used to design your filling and it is then made out of a very strong white tooth coloured material to seamlessly match the missing part of your tooth.