Are you dealing with a cavity? Well, chances are you'll need a dental filling to fix it. There are various types of fillings available to do the job. In this article, our dentists at North Vancouver will explain why you might require a tooth filling and provide information on different filling options for you to consider.
What are dental fillings?
These restorations help fix teeth that are damaged or decayed. They restore the tooth's structure, function, and appearance while relieving any tooth pain you might have.
Why are dental fillings used?
Tooth fillings are used to repair fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They not only restore the functionality of your tooth but can also enhance your smile in certain cases.
What are some signs I may need a dental filling?
If you're unsure about needing a filling, visiting a dentist is best. However, here are some signs that may indicate a cavity requiring a tooth filling. If any of these signs occur, it's important to make an appointment with your dentist:
- Your feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- You notice a hole or dark spot when examining your teeth.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- You frequently have food getting stuck between certain teeth.
- An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
- You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
What are dental fillings made of?
Discover a range of materials used for dental fillings, including amalgam, composite, porcelain, and gold. Each material has its own unique benefits and drawbacks when it comes to treating cavities or decay. Our expert dentists offer valuable guidance to help you make the best dental decision for your needs.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are tooth-colored dental restorations that are made with a combination of metal. They are strong and durable, making them suitable for molars. Unlike regular dental fillings, porcelain fillings are brittle and hard. They are crafted in a dental lab and then sent to your dentist for placement. You will typically need to schedule two dental appointments to get a porcelain filling.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel
Composite fillings, being similar in color to natural teeth, blend in well with the surrounding teeth, giving them a natural appearance.
These fillings are popular among patients who worry about the visibility of grey amalgam fillings when they smile, as they look and feel natural.
Dentists prefer composites because they can easily shape and mold them onto a tooth, and they naturally bond to the tooth. This reduces the amount of enamel removal during tooth preparation.
During the procedure, your dentist will remove tooth decay and apply bonding material inside the cavity before placing the filling. Layers of composite resin are then added.
A curing light is used to harden each layer. Once the final layer of resin has hardened, the filling is carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.
Gold Fillings for Durability
Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.
It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.