Teeth filling

Most people will have at least one tooth filling in their lifetimes.
Fillings are used to ‘fill in’ cavities in a tooth, which are caused by bacteria that live in the mouth or where the tooth has cracked or been worn down due to conditions like tooth grinding.
Before the concept of fillings, people would have to extract the tooth with a cavity because it would cause too much pain. Nowadays, that tooth can be saved by a filling after the bacteria has been removed and cavity treated.
Full function and appearance of the tooth can be restored.

What is teeth filling?

The fillings are made from various materials and the doctor will chose the best one for you will depending on your requirements.
The materials used for fillings are all strong enough to restore the full integrity of the affected tooth whilst maintaining the original shape and function of that tooth.

The point of a root canal is to remove all the infected, inflamed and dead pulp tissue in the tooth. This also involves cleaning the inside of the tooth to rid it of possible bacteria, and finally fill up the now hollow root canals.
Once a tooth has been root canal treated, a permanent white filling, inlay or crown should be done to restore the tooth completely and strengthen it.

General Dentistry Fillings

The different types of fillings are:

  • Amalgam fillings: this is a combination of various metals like silver, mercury, tin and copper. This unique combination of metals is strong, hard-wearing but inexpensive when compared to the other types of fillings. They are dark in colour and were therefore often used for teeth fillings at the back of the mouth where they could not be seen. We no longer use amalgam fillings due to the mercury content which is hazardous to human health.
  • Composite fillings:these white fillings are a combination of resin and silica. They are very durable and are used as the filling of choice in most cases. They are tooth-coloured and therefore give a natural appearance.
  • Ionomer fillings: this type of filling can be used in certain cases where other filling types are less suitable. They are tooth-coloured and are often enriched with tiny levels of fluoride which release slowly over time to further protect the tooth from decay. Ideal for milk teeth or as temporary fillings.
  • Gold fillings: these fillings have a long tradition as they are considered very durable. They are custom made and require two visits to be completed. The downside is that they are more expensive and are not the best aesthetically.
  • Ceramic fillings: An upgrade on the traditional gold fillings. They are custom made and are fitted on the second appointment, but are cheaper than gold and are aesthetically superb, once in place they can hardly be distinguished from a natural tooth. They are made of porcelain and maintain their colour for life.

Why is this treatment important?

  • A decayed tooth cannot be repaired by the body and will eventually cause extreme pain, may lead to abscess formations or even affect the jawbone, if left unchecked.
  • A tooth can be saved to further serve its function of either biting or chewing.
  • An appropriate filling chosen for the location and bite pressure can last for a very long time with no further problems.
  • Untreated tooth decay may require more expensive dental treatments like a root canal or tooth extraction.
  • Teeth fillings procedure is a fast treatment, often only requiring a visit or two.

The procedure

  1. The teeth with be physically examined and x-rays may be taken to determine the extent of the damage
  2. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the affected tooth.
  3. The decayed tooth structure is removed and cleaned using a drill, laser or air abrasion instrument depending on the location of the cavity.
  4. Once the tooth is cleaned, the area is prepared for the filling.
  5. The selected type of filling is carefully placed into the tooth in layers.
  6. If the filling requires “curing” by a special light, this is applied after each layer.
  7. When the filling is in place, any excess filling material is trimmed off to give the tooth its original shape and thefilling is then polished to make it feel as smooth as a normal tooth.

Teeth fillings are a common dental procedure in our clinic. Our highly skilled dentists will ensure this procedure is quick, efficient and painless.

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