Dental fillings are used when part of the tooth is lost due to either decay or trauma. Not all fillings that are required can be easily seen in the mouth and may require an x-ray to determine if a filling is required.
When a filling is to be done, your dentist will clean the surfaces to be filled using a handpiece drill and an assortment of solutions before restoring the tooth with a filling.
When it comes to materials used there are a few to choose from but the most common material these days is Composite resin. Composite fillings are often referred to as ‘white’ or ‘tooth coloured’ fillings as they mimic the colour of natural teeth. In select cases amalgam (silver looking) fillings are still used as are glass-ionomer, gold and temporary material all of which have unique properties and advantages.
If your old silver fillings need to be replaced, we use safe removal techniques such as use of a rubber barrier where possible so that you do not collect any debris in the mouth!
In some instances where a tooth has a very large filling or is cracked, it may require a Ceramic crown or Onlay, which replaces the natural shape of the tooth as it is custom made out of the mouth and lasts much longer.
In most cases a local anaesthetic is used for the cleaning process of a filling but this is completely up to each individual case and patient.