What are Dental Fillings?
Dental Filling is a material commonly used to restore missing tooth structure damaged by decay, trauma and wear from biting habits such as clenching/grinding.
By closing up space it restores the function of the tooth and also prevents bacteria from getting into the tooth which may subsequently lead to infection.
Types of Fillings?
There are 4 types of Fillings available
- Gold Fillings are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory and then cemented onto the tooth. Gold is a well-tolerated material in the mouth and is proven to have good durability. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.
- Porcelain fillings are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory and then cemented onto the tooth. It can be made to match the colour of the tooth and resist staining therefore ideal in aesthetic regions.
- Composite (plastic) resins are fabricated inside the mouth and are made to match the same colour as your teeth therefore given a natural appearance. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also be stained from food over time and does not have the durability factor compared to gold and porcelain. However, composites can be placed in one visit, unlike gold and porcelain.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are metal fillings that are fabricated inside of the mouth. They are relatively inexpensive in comparison to the other options. However, due to there dark colour, they are more noticeable and not ideal in visible areas.
How do I know if I need a Filling?
Only a dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled. During the check-up, your dentist will use a small mirror to examine all surfaces of each tooth. Any abnormalities will be closely inspected with special instruments to determine the severity of the cavity. X-rays maybe require to check in-between teeth that dentist cannot see visually. This ensures no surface of the tooth is left unchecked.