Dental fillings: Know how and why they are important for your teeth

Dental fillings: Know how and why they are important for your teeth

A dental filling is the treatment prescribed when one has a small hole, or cavity, in a tooth or a number of teeth.

The procedure involves the removal of decayed tooth tissue followed by the filling of the space with a filling material.

Types of fillings

We’ve got several types of filling material currently available to repair cavity-struck teeth. They include:

  • Tooth- colored (composite) fillings
  • Silver-colored (amalgam) fillings.

Composite fillings

Composite resin materials are increasingly used to fill teeth because many people prefer them. They are most preferred because:

  • They blend in well with the colour of the affected tooth and neighboring ones.
  • Composite fillings are of diverse shades suitable for different shades of teeth among patients.
  • Composite fillings can be used to fix minor cosmetic flaws.

Amalgam fillings

Some dentists prefer amalgam fillings because they are more affordable and offer longer-lasting results. When properly cared for, an amalgam filling can last up to 15 years. Because of the metal alloy used, amalgam fillings offer stronger resistance to damage, making them a superior choice for larger areas of decay.

However, amalgam fillings are gradually being phased out due to the following reasons:

  • Though safe, mercury levels in amalgam require more of the tooth structure to be removed.
  • Though rare, patients with metal allergies may have a bad reaction to amalgam.
  • Amalgam fillings are very noticeable, even on the back teeth, if your mouth is open wide.
  • Amalgam fillings may expand and contract with temperature exposure, resulting in fractures.

Advantages of teeth fillings

Teeth fillings are beneficial. They help:

  • To remove a cavity from a tooth and make it strong and healthy again so we can enjoy eating and chewing.
  • To prevent decay from spreading
  • To make teeth look beautiful and natural again, especially when white composite fillings are used
  • To guard against a painful experience with cavities and associated damage to the teeth.

How can you know that you need a filling?

There are a number of symptoms that can alert you when a filling may come in handy. Some of the signs include:

  • Cavities: If you can actually see an area of decay on your tooth. A dark spot can indicate a cavity, even if it doesn’t look like a hole yet. Some cavities are big enough to see or feel with your tongue.
  • Toothache: the pain may be steady or one that comes and goes
  • Teeth Sensitivity: If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold foods and liquids – it could be a sign that you have a cavity that needs to be filled.
  • Worn out or lost filling: If a previous filling becomes loose or falls out, then it is time to check in for review and treatment. If left unaddressed, the affected tooth/teeth get weaker and more susceptible to breaking. Ignoring it also puts the tooth vulnerable to decay.
  • Chipped and cracked teeth: Accidents and misuse of our teeth can cause the chipping or cracking of teeth. A chipped or cracked tooth can be repaired with a filling.

At Lake Dental Clinic, we advocate for the restoration of every natural tooth through filling and more other restorative procedures for the proper functionality of your mouth and the desirable look of your smile.

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