You’ve gone to your regular dental checkup thinking everything is alright with your oral health, but then your dentist informs you that you need a filling. What does that entail? A filling repairs damage to a tooth caused by tooth decay, returning the tooth to its normal function and shape. By sealing up a cavity, it can also prevent further decay.
Types Of Fillings
The right type of filling depends on the extent of the repair, whether you’re allergic to the filling material, the location of the cavity and the cost.
- Gold fillings can last for over 20 years. Because of this, many dental professionals consider this the best filling material. But, it’s often the most expensive choice and requires more than one visit.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are inexpensive and resistant to wear. However, due to its dark colour, it’s more noticeable compared to porcelain or composite restorations. That’s why they’re not typically used on visible areas such as the front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched to the colour of your teeth. They’re less durable and can be stained from coffee, tea or tobacco. Composites aren’t ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.
- Porcelain fillings are bonded to the tooth, matched to your teeth colour and generally cover most of the tooth. Its cost is similar to a gold filling.
The Filling Procedure
First, your dentist will numb the area using local anesthetic and then use a drill to cut through the enamel and remove the decay. They’ll shape the space to prepare for the filling. If the decay is near the dental pulp (where the nerves are), your dentist may apply a base or liner to protect the nerve. Once the filling is in, your dentist will use burs to finish and polish the filled tooth, making sure it matches your bite so you can eat comfortably.
After The Procedure
Some people experience sensitivity to pressure, air or foods that are cold or sweet after receiving a filling. This sensation should subside in two weeks. But if you experience pain and extra pressure when biting down, it could be because your filling is too tall. This is quite common and can be easily corrected by your dentist.
Dental fillings are common and are usually painless. For a standard and uncomplicated filling, the procedure should only take about an hour or less. With diligent oral care, your fillings should be able to last for many years.
To find out more about how Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre can help restore your oral health, book an appointment with our dental office today or look for us at the northwest corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue.