Dental Fillings Overview
Think You Might Have a Cavity?
You are Not Alone Because Did You Know??
More than 70% of Australians have some form of tooth decay.
Three main reasons why you should never hesitate to get a filling are:
- The faster you take care of a cavity problem the better for you.
- Getting cavities filled quickly prevents all kinds of very serious problems, and
- You will feel better faster, too!
Fillings have a strangely overblown reputation as painful, serious, or extremely negative, when in fact, the procedure is:
My Gentle Dentist use leading technology to treat your cavities with tooth coloured filling material (composite resin) that:
Note: Not seeking attention can further damage your teeth and can minimise the possibility of teeth being saved.
Never hesitate to contact us if you think you have a cavity – we will sort it guaranteed.
All About Dental Fillings
What is a Filling and Why Are They Important?
A filling does just what the name implies – seals a small hole in your tooth, i.e., a cavity caused by decay.
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay and or fracture back to its normal function and shape.
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay.
Fillings also reinforce the tooth to keep it from chipping, cracking, or breaking inward from trauma.
Without a filling, even minor cavities could seriously compromise the health and function of your teeth.
How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Only your Dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled, but a good self-check for you is to check if your teeth have:
If you have teeth have any signs of these 3 things, then:
During a checkup, your Dentist will use a mouth mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth.
Your Dentist may also X-rays to verify the presence and depth of decay.
Note: The type of treatment your Dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.
What Are the Causes of Cavities?
Poor oral hygiene is the most common reason for tooth damage.
Failure to brush and floss daily can lead to cavities due to food staying on your teeth.
And one of the main culprits is sugary/sweet food.
When left on the tooth, sugar can cause cavities that start out small and begin to grow if the oral hygiene regime does not change.
Broken, chipped, or cracked teeth are all candidates for a filling.
If you are someone who grinds their teeth, has a lot of acid in their diet, or over brushes, you may experience sensitivity with your teeth and this can lead your dental health towards a filling.
You may also need fillings for cosmetic reasons – the details of which can be discussed with your Dentist.
What Dental Filling Materials Do You Use?
Several dental filling materials are available in the market – gold, silver and porcelain, for example.
But My Gentle Dentist only uses tooth coloured filling material (composite resin) that pins with the tooth, making an already compromised tooth gain back the strength lost due to decay.
Composite fillings are extremely popular for those who do not want their fillings to show.
Composite resin is soft and malleable, so it can be shaped to fit the cavity.
A special light is used to harden the resin inside of the tooth, and this allows the filling to blend in with your tooth and create a more natural look.
Since this bonds directly to your tooth, it makes the tooth stronger than it would be with some of the other fillings.
What are the Advantages of Tooth Coloured Composite Fillings?
- Aesthetics – the shade/colour of the composites can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth; is particularly well suited for use in front teeth or visible parts of teeth.
- Bonding to tooth structure – composite fillings chemically bond to the tooth structure, providing further support to the tooth.
- Versatility in uses – in addition, to use as a filling material for decay, composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken or worn teeth.
- Tooth-sparing preparation – sometimes less tooth structure needs to be removed compared with many other different forms of filling materials.
What is the Dental Filling Procedure?
If your dentist decides to fill a cavity, he or she will first:
The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with a tooth-coloured material.
If the damage to your tooth is quite extensive, a crown may be indicated.
Getting a filling is very gentle, thanks to modern anaesthetics and the way they are administered.
Your Dentists will start by numbing the tooth and the area around it and then removing any decay.
The objective is to leave as much sound, natural tooth structure as possible.
The cavity will then be disinfected and dried before a filling material (usually composite resin) is put in place.
Once the material has hardened, the dentist will shape it to look and feel just like a natural tooth.
What are Fissure Seals?
Sometimes the pits and fissures in the back teeth are so deep that it is impossible for the bristles of a toothbrush to keep the surface clean.
This can make it a breeding ground for bacteria which can result in decay.
Your Dentist may apply a Dental sealant (commonly known as a fissure seal) to fill the pits and fissures and act as a barrier to plaque, bacteria and food debris.
Are There Alternatives to Dental Fillings?
If the tooth decay is very extensive and the tooth cannot be repaired, the tooth may need to be extracted (taken out).
How Can I Prevent Getting Fillings?
My Gentle Dentist highly recommends visiting us twice a year.
This is preventative care and standard for people without any major problems.
When you first notice a crack or hole beginning to form in your tooth, it is wise to book an appointment with us.
If the problem is caught in its early stages, the tooth can be saved with far less effort and far less discomfort and far cheaper than if left untreated for a while.
The longer you wait, the bigger your problem can become.
How Much Does a Dental Filling Cost?
The price of a filling will vary depending on:
Prices can start at around $130 and go up to around $300 as a guide for you.
Note: My Gentle Dentist will always consult with you on the best option for your teeth at a price you can afford.
When Should I Replace a Cavity Filling?
Tooth fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced.
But tooth fillings can wear out over years of chewing.
If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have tooth fillings replaced sooner.
if you notice signs of wear on your tooth fillings, such as cracks or worn areas, see your Dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible.
Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair that is more expensive and more complicated than a simple cavity filling.
Are There Any Complications with Cavity Fillings?
It is important to know about potential problems, so you can see your Dentist promptly to have cavity fillings adjusted or repaired.
Possible complications from cavity fillings include:
It is important to know about potential problems, so you can see your dentist promptly to have cavity fillings adjusted or repaired.
Possible complications from cavity fillings include:
Damage: Sometimes a cavity filling breaks, cracks, or falls out.
Damage to a filling can occur when you bite down on something hard or if you are hit in the mouth while playing sports. See a Dentist as soon as you notice damage to a cavity filling to avoid irritation and infection of the unprotected tooth.
What to Expect After a Filling?
The numbness caused by your local anaesthesia should wear off within a couple of hours.
Until then, it is best to avoid drinking hot or cold liquids and eating on the side of your mouth with the new filling.
Some sensitivity to hot and cold is normal in the first couple of weeks after getting a tooth filled. If your fillings are deep, sometimes it can take upto 6 weeks for sensitivity (to hot and cold) to disappear. If the sensitivity persists beyond that.. please call us.
If you have any actual pain when biting on a recently filled tooth, it could signal that an adjustment to your filling needs to be made.
Continue to brush and floss as normal every day and visit the Dental office at least twice per year for your regular checkups and cleanings.
And remember, tooth decay is a very preventable disease:
My Gentle Dentist is Your Dental Filling Experts
If you think you need a filling in your tooth, please do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment – your precious teeth are at stake!
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