Dental Fillings are mainly used to replace or support tooth structure that has been "eaten" due to decay or broken due to trauma.
Regular brushing, flossing and dental Check up and Cleans are important when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums. Lack of dental care can result in growth of bacteria and their by-products, allowing a perfect environment for tooth decay to develop.
Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities, are physical holes present on top, inside or around the surfaces of a tooth. If left unattended, the hole within the tooth will increase in size until it either breaks or form a severe infection that can be painful and debilitating.
What is the purpose of Dental Fillings?
Dental Fillings are used to rebuild form and structure back to a broken or decayed tooth. It is an easy and simple solution for fixing your teeth and works by plugging the area with a material that closely resembles teeth.
There are many filling materials and which one to use is assessed on a patient case basis. Your Dentist will consider the advantages and properties of all the materials and select the one that is most appropriate for your situation to provide the best clinical outcome.
What materials are Dental Fillings made from?
There are many to select from, but the majority of fillings are completed by the use of:
- Composite resin
- Glass-ionomer cement
With modern technology, composite resin has now superseded the use of amalgam materials.
Composite resin Dental Fillings are tooth coloured. They can reliably achieve good aesthetic outcomes and still have reliable strength to that similarly seen in teeth. Although amalgam itself is still safe, long term presence of cracks and blackening of teeth has now made it less desirable for patients.
Dental Fillings Treatment Procedure
1. Book a consultation
We'll assess the tooth with the use of x-rays and provide you with a quote appropriate for the size required to repair your tooth.
If needed, local anaesthetic may be given to ensure that your tooth does not feel sensitive during treatment.
4. Preparing the site
Our Dentists will brush the bacteria away and smoothen sharp and broken edges.
We'll go through a three step process of applying gel, bond and composite resin to ensure that the filling material is appropriately glued and interlock with the desired tooth surfaces. A bright blue light is used in between to help with the bonding process.
6. Final touches
After placement of the filling, our Dentists will then polish and check your bite so that it can feel as good as possible.
How long does it take to do a Dental Filling?
How long it takes to complete a Dental Filling depends on the size and complexity of the filling, it can vary between 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
What to expect after a Dental Filing is completed?
If the area filled is small, you should return back to normal once anaesthetic wears off (1-2 hours). If the trauma or decayed area was large to start off with, then expect some sensitivity for the next couple of days. Most of the time, the sensation will decrease with time as the tooth heals and return to normal.
How long do Dental Fillings last?
The life expectancy of a Dental Filling is dependent on a number of factors:
- Size of the original decay/trauma
- The material used
- Oral hygiene habits
- Jaw position
- Grinding or clenching
Typically, a composite filling last about 5 to 10 years but can be more with good oral hygiene.
Although the tooth is technically “fixed”, it does not mean that it is immune to future dental decay or trauma. A portion of the tooth structure has been rebuilt but the overall tooth itself is still present and can become disease without proper care and maintenance. So remember to brush and floss teeth you want to keep.
Have a look at some of our previous cases and see how Dental Fillings can help you.
Case study 1:
Broken Front Tooth
The patient is a young girl who came into our clinic at Hoppers Crossing for a Dental Emergency after breaking her front tooth, our Dentists were able to restore the aesthetic of her front tooth with a Dental Filling.
Case study 2:
The patient presented with exposed roots caused by heaving brushing.
Case study 3:
The patient presented with sensitivity due to a decayed broken tooth.