Dental fillings restore damaged or decayed teeth. They are also used to treat tooth fractures, heightened sensitivity brought on by tooth grinding and related dental conditions.
How will I know if I need a filling?
Decay is usually revealed during a regular dental examination or cleaning appointment. However, you may notice warning signs such as:
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink
A careful inspection by your dentist, followed by x-rays if needed, can determine if a filling is necessary. If decay is left untreated, the tooth nerve may die and cause infection.
What can I expect during the filling procedure?
With a few exceptions, your filling treatment will proceed along the following lines:
- Your dentist will explain each treatment step and give you the opportunity to ask any questions
- The area receiving the filling will be numbed using a local anaesthetic
- The decayed section of your tooth will be removed or cleared and the remaining cavity will be ‘filled’ with a premium filling material. This step is vital, as it prevents further decay from forming and damaging the tooth
- The dentist will ensure the filling feels comfortable within your mouth
- The filling material will be polished to make the tooth surface smooth and functional
Composite or white fillings
Composite fillings are a popular choice because of their natural appearance and strength. They are almost impossible to detect and are an excellent replacement for a broken, chipped or leaking filling.
Glass ionomer fillings
Glass ionomer fillers are made of acrylic and fine glass powder. These release fluoride into the tooth which will help protect the tooth from decay.