Teeth fillings - a way to repair cavities
If you have never had a cavity, congratulations! If you have had one, you are not alone. Most of us have had at least one cavity by the time we reach age 18. Fortunately there’s a time-tested treatment for cavities: the dental filling.
In the past, dentists relied heavily on amalgam fillings to treat decay. Nowadays, tooth-coloured fillings are the preferred option to silver-fillings,as some find patients find them unattractive while they smile. On the other hand, white fillings can match the shade, translucency and even the texture of your natural teeth instead of standing out.
The composite material that makes up your fillings will bond to your teeth in a way that is durable and supportive. Because of this, we can actually leave more of your tooth in place.
Our clinic is a mercury-free (amalgam-free) dental clinic which uses only the best, newest and safest materials available.
A tooth filling is a dental procedure in which a composit material is used to restore a tooth to natural health and to treat tooth decay in case of small and medium sized cavities.
Cosmetic tooth-colored fillings may also be used to treat various other dental problems, such a
- chipped teeth,
- severe teeth staining,
- broken teeth and
Sometimes, when the decay in the tooth is very close to the pulp, the dentist may decide to put a medicated temporary filling on the tooth after the decay is cleaned, to determine whether the tooth can be filled or if it needs a root canal procedure or extraction.
During a check-up, your dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled however there may be symptoms and signs you might experience:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold, to pressure, to sweet things
- Pain on biting or chewing
- A dark spot that you can see or a hole that you can feel
- Food always getting stuck between certain teeth
- Broken or lost filling
- Chipped or fractured tooth
It is important that you regularly see a dentist because not all decay and problems cause immediate symptoms and pain. During a check-up , your dentist will check if you need fillings by examining the teeth and taking X-rays if necessary.
Much concern exists among the public regarding the safety of mercury contained in an amalgam filling. The major concern is if mercury is released from the filling resulting in adverse effects to your health. When problems with the old amalgam fillings exist, removing them can be done safely by using a high speed suction and a rubber dam to isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth and capture the derbis. In some cases, once old fillings are removed ,they can cause teeth to become sensitive, possibly needing root canals and crowns.
- Safe, long lasting and natural-looking solution.
- Popular and cost-effective method of filling cavities.
- Closely matched to the color of your teeth’s natural shade .
- Less tooth structure must be removed to make space for the filling.
- Seals the dentin from future decay and can be repaired easily.
- Stain resistancy, offering the patient a natural look after their application.
The procedure to place a white composite white filling requires several steps however fillings can generally be completed in one visit. It may last between 30-60 minutes depending on the extent of the cavity.
- Anaesthetise the tooth with local anaesthetic.
- The tooth where the filling is going is thoroughly cleaned.
- Then the correct shade of filling is selected, the tooth is kept dry.
- The filling is then applied and exposed to a special light which enables the material to harden and set.
- The filling is then polished to give the desired shape and finish.
Your tooth may be sensitive to hot, cold or pressure from this procedure. This is completely normal and will cease within a few days to a couple of weeks.
If left untreated, the decay in you tooth will become bigger and deeper, and eventually reach the nerves of the tooth and start causing pain. Once it has reached this stage, your tooth can no longer be filled and will need to be root canal treated or extracted.