In most cases you will be unaware if you need a filling unless there has been a trauma and you can detect and change in the shape of the tooth. Dental decay is normally painless until it reaches the nerve of the tooth or allows stimuli to reach the nerve. At this stage the filling will be close to the nerve and may result in the nerve dying off due to bacterial infiltration and infection after the filling
Dental Fillings are used to replace the parts of the tooth that have been lost, due to a number of reasons. These include wear and tear, decay and accidental damage. Your dentist can recommend the type of filling most appropriate for your dental needs. At Gladesville Gentle Dental, we use the latest, state-of-the-art dental materials for procedures. Accompanied with the most innovative techniques, we can ensure you receive the best treatment and results. That’s what we call “The Smiles Experience” – we put the patient first, and make sure that your treatment plan and pricing is transparent and open.
When dental decay creates a “hole”, in a tooth, dental intervention is required. Decay is a process when oral bacteria feed on sugars, the bacteria releases acid as a by-product. This acid can weaken the enamel surface of the tooth and decay is initiated. Eventually the decay propagates through the enamel surface and invades the dentine layer of the tooth. Usually there is NO PAIN until the decay gets so large that it gets close or invades the pulp of the tooth, which contains nerves and blood vessels. If the nerve becomes infected by the decay, then root canal therapy is required. It is much more favourable to intervene before this occurs. Routine dental examinations and x-rays can detect decay before pain starts.
Traditionally, cavities in back teeth were repaired with silver fillings, and white fillings were only used on front teeth. This was because the white filling material in the past was not as strong as silver amalgam, and so could not withstand the heavier chewing forces generated by the molar teeth. In the past 5-10 years, there have been significant advances in dental materials, so that now white fillings are as good, if not better than silver amalgam fillings.
They offer several distinct advantages:
Far superior cosmetics – they look and feel just like natural teeth.
It is possible to bond white fillings to the tooth, so they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place.
There is no mercury in white fillings, which means they are kinder to the environment.
They do not expand in the cavity and so place less internal stress in the tooth than silver amalgam.
How do I know which filling I need?
Your dentist will assess the tooth and the size of the filling needed. He or she will then discuss with you the options available, together with the pros and cons of each option, including cost. The patient and dentist will then agree on which option is best for a patients’ needs.
How long do fillings last?
Daily brushing and flossing with good technique are needed to maintain fillings and keep them in good shape for many years. Composite fillings have an average life span of 8 years whilst ceramic fillings can last far longer due to their strength. Regular dental check-ups and cleans are critical in keeping your fillings in good repair.