Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures and can be used to both repair damage and improve cosmetic appearance.
Reasons For Needing a Filling
The most common reason for needing a filling is to repair a tooth damaged by decay. It’s not just tooth decay that fillings are used as a treatment for though. They can also be used to repair a cracked or broken tooth, or one that is worn down – for example, from excessive grinding.
Getting a Filling Fitted
We create fillings with excellent function and aesthetics. They are sculpted to recreate the original tooth shape and strength using various materials. We use layering techniques for our composite restorations to mimic natural tooth structure, shade and light reflection.
The first stage in the dental filling process is to numb the area around the tooth using a local anesthesia. This will prevent you feeling any pain whilst the procedure is carried out. Next, using dental tools, we will remove decay and/or fix the damaged area, then add a strong filling material and shape it to match surrounding teeth.
What type of dental fillings are there?
There are principally 4 types of filling available:
These are an amalgamation of various metals, including mercury, silver, tin and copper. They are often known as silver fillings due to their silver looking appearance when they have been placed.l
Gold Dental Fillings
As the name suggests, these fillings are made from gold although they will also contain various other metals. Typical gold dental fillings will consist of around 75% gold, with the remainder being made up of palladium, silver and a few other minor metals. Also called gold inlays or onlays, these require two appointments. First the preparation work is done, then some impressions taken and sent to a laboratory while a temporary filling is placed. At the second appointment two weeks later, the temporary filling is removed and the gold filling fitted with a dental cement.
These are made from high grade dental ceramic material by a dental technician. The ceramic itself is not inherently strong when compared to gold, however, the ceramic filling is chemically bonded to your tooth very much like a laminated windscreen on your car. By bonding the filling and the tooth together the strength increases exponentially. Ceramic fillings can be made to look extremely natural.
Ceramic fillings require two appointments. First the preparation work is done, then some impressions taken and sent to a laboratory while a temporary filling is placed. At the second appointment two weeks later, the temporary filling is removed and the ceramic filling fitted with a dental glue.
Composite fillings are made with a tooth coloured putty-like material which your dentist applies directly to your tooth in the surgery. The composition of these composite fillings is extremely complex and includes a light sensitive component which cures to form the hard filling material when a high-powered light is applied to it. Our dentists are skilled at making these fillings look very natural.
An especially aesthetic type of composite system is used by Dr Sandra Dring, called ‘BioClear Composite’. You can find out more about this in the relevant section of this website. Click Here
Your dentist will discuss all the pros and cons for your particular tooth and help you decide which filling is best for you.