Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have cavities. Your dentist might use different types of fillings to complete this task. Today, our dentists in Winnipeg discuss why you'd need a tooth filling and list different types of filling to consider.
What are dental fillings?
Dental filings are used to restore the structure, appearance and function of a tooth with damage or decay, alleviating tooth pain you may be experiencing and preventing more oral health problems.
Why are dental fillings used?
Tooth fillings can repair cracks, decay or fractures in a tooth. They help restore the tooth's functionality and in some circumstances may be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
What are some signs I may need a dental filling?
While a dentist should check whether you require a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that will need a tooth filling. If you notice any of these, book an appointment with your dentist:
- Your tooth filling is missing and you need a replacement
- Your feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- An existing tooth filing has cracked or broken.
- When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
What are dental fillings made of?
Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you.
Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance
Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling. A porcelain filling often takes two dental appointments — one for molds or impressions to be made and the other to have your filling placed.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel
Because they are very similar in colour to natural teeth, composite fillings tend to blend in well with the surrounding teeth.
They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.
Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.
Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.
A curing light is used to harden each layer. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.