Dental fillings are typically needed to treat dental decay, also known as cavities. Cavities are caused by the breakdown of tooth enamel due to bacterial activity in the mouth. Bacteria produce acids that erode the enamel, resulting in the formation of holes or cavities in the teeth. If left untreated, cavities can progress and lead to more significant tooth damage or even tooth loss. A dental filling is used to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and restore it with filling material, such as composite resin or amalgam, to prevent further decay and restore the tooth’s function and integrity.
Another common reason for needing a filling is tooth fracture or chipping. Teeth can fracture or chip due to various reasons, including trauma, biting on hard objects, or grinding and clenching of teeth. Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, a filling may be used to repair the tooth and restore its strength and function. In some cases, a crown or other dental restoration may be needed if the tooth is extensively damaged.
Your dentist will advise you if you need one, such as they will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth and they will be able to identify if anything looks abnormal. Such as discolouration, which is sensitive to temperature changes and so on. The treatments are not always the same, it will depend on the damage and the type of filling you decide.
There are a few different materials that a filling can be made from, varying the strength, price and color. If you need a filling, your dentist will go through all of the variations and find the best option for your needs.
Below are the main filling materials that are used the most :
- Amalgam – this material is silver looking which is very common and is made from a mixture of materials including mercury. This material is the cheapest option and is relatively durable. It is noticeable as it’s a darker colour compared to the whiteness of the teeth. They require a good amount of natural tooth to lock the filling in.
- Composite Resins (white fillings) – this type of material is made from plastic and has different colours to choose from to match your own tooth, making it invisible. It is an increasingly strong materials, and chemically sticks to your tooth, which is a big advantage over amalgam.
- Gold – this precious metal filling, is strong and it is often accepted by the body and the surrounding gum tissues.They are well cared for and can last over 20 years, however they are expensive compared to amalgam and composite resin.
- Porcelain – it is also known as inlays or onlays, they are made by a machine to the shape of the hole in your tooth, then it is bonded to the tooth. The colour of the material is matched well to your natural tooth. It will last longer than composite resin.
Contact Droitwich Spa today to book a fillings appointment!