Dental Fillings Brisbane

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Dental Fillings Last?

There is no definite time frame that fillings may last but on average, they are replaced approximately every five years.  This does not mean they should be replaced every five years.  Usually fillings are left in the tooth unless they need to be replaced.  As long as you practice good dental hygiene and look after your mouth, a dental filling can last you decades and may never need to be replaced.

Are Dental Fillings Painful?

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities in the teeth. When a dentist gives you a filling, this process itself is generally painless.  Small fillings can be done without you feeling a thing and without the need for local anaesthetic.  For large fillings, local anaesthetic will numb the tooth so you won’t feel the tooth being prepared.  Some patients experience discomfort or tooth sensitivity initially after a filling is completed when the anaesthetic has worn off because it is very large and close to the nerve of a tooth, but this settles quickly and can be managed with pain medication.

How Many Dental Fillings Does The Average Person Have?

There are different statistics to consider for the answer to this question.  The average person may have around three or four dental fillings.  However roughly 25% of people have 11 or more fillings.  Regular dental checkups and the practice of good dental hygiene are the best measures a person can take to prevent needing fillings.  Fillings are also an early treatment method and can prevent much more significant oral health issues that arise from tooth decay and gum disease.

How Much Do Dental Fillings Cost?

The cost of a dental filling depends on its size and complexity.  Small fillings covering a small section of one surface of the tooth may cost $90, while a very large filling covering all surfaces of the tooth may cost $300.  Most medium size fillings cost between $160 to $220.

Does A Filling Weaken A Tooth?

A filling replaces tooth structure that has been lost and thus restores the integrity of a tooth that has a cavity.  However, a filling is not the same as tooth structure and is weaker than tooth enamel.  It is more accurate to say that the reason for the filling (tooth decay in many cases) has weakened the tooth rather than the filling itself has weakened the tooth.

Are White Fillings Better Than Other Filling Materials?

There used to be a choice between getting an amalgam filling or a white filling.  However, amalgam fillings are more or less obsolete these days and modern fillings are all white in colour.  White fillings are preferred by most patients as the material can better match the colour of your natural teeth.  There are now different types of white filling materials.  Composite resin materials look very much like tooth structure.  GIC materials based on calcium and fluoride behave like real tooth structure.

Dental Fillings Brisbane Procedure and Cost

We'll Patch Things Up In No Time!

Fillings are a solution to certain issues like small holes and enamel breakdowns in the teeth.  However, the main thing we use fillings for is to prevent more severe tooth decay.  What happens with your teeth is plaque and calculus can build up over time.  This can cause erosion of the minerals in your teeth.  As minerals in the enamel break down, your back teeth will begin to have stains appear in the pits and grooves of the chewing surfaces.  This is what we call early tooth decay.  As tooth decay worsens, it can break through the pits and grooves of the tooth.  This causes the tooth to become dark in colour and a cavity can form in the tooth.

This can be avoided with a simple filling when treated early.  When you come in for a checkup, we may notice some discolouration and damage to the teeth.  We know that if we treat this area with a filling that we are helping to extend the lifetime of your tooth.  For us, it is all about keeping the surrounding tooth structure intact.  This will prevent further decay and help us to avoid having to use a crown on your tooth.  Crowns are needed when the tooth decay is very large and there is little tooth structure left to hold a filling.  In cases like this, the decay must be removed and a filling done before placing a crown on the tooth.

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What Filling Will You Use?

When it comes time to have a filling you will not be short on options.  If you want to make a decision based on price, you have the option of metal amalgam or silver dental fillings.  These fillings contain mercury, and there is some unfounded concern over that.  The fillings are stable when set and are safe as a dental material.  They will not match the colour of teeth and do not bond to tooth structure so are not used much any more.  If you want a more aesthetic solution, you’ll like white fillings.  These are the most common fillings used today.  They are not as strong as amalgam and are more costly.  However, less drilling is required because the dentist does not need to shape the tooth as much to hold the filling securely.

Composite resin is a white filling option. This is basically plastic reinforced by fine glass particles and gives great aesthetics and smoothness.  The main concern is that when it bonds to tooth structure it can shrink during setting which can produce gaps between the tooth structure and filling material.  This can lead to further tooth decay.  Our dentists place this filling material in thin layers to minimise these risks.  Another option is glass ionomer.  This is the newest technology and is based on calcium and fluoride minerals which are found in teeth.  They chemically bond to tooth structure and release fluoride which prevents leakage around the filling and protects the tooth from further decay. They are more gentle to the nerves of the tooth so are great for cavities which are very deep and close to the nerve of the tooth.

It Might Be Time To Fill Her Up.

Any cavities in your teeth that are left untreated will lead to further tooth decay which will be painful and expensive.  A tooth with untreated tooth decay may eventually develop a large infection and need root canal treatment or extraction.  Fillings are a simple solution for cavities and can provide the following benefits:

  • Restores the tooth back to normal form
  • Can be very aesthetic if a white filling is chosen
  • Protects the nerve of the tooth
  • Removes sensitivity and pain
  • Removes discolouration due to the decay and staining
  • Can help repair damaged tooth structure
  • Extends the life of your tooth

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It's a Filling Not a Patch Up Job!

If you do need a dental filling, it needs to be taken care of professionally and you want to make sure it’s a high quality job.  Fillings shouldn’t be falling out all the time or have gaps.  The very point of having a filling is to correct damage and prevent further tooth decay.  If fillings feel loose, have gaps, or keep falling out, then the risk of further tooth decay is significant.  When you come to Central Brisbane Dental no matter what filling you choose our dentists will ensure the filling is set firmly and helps prevent tooth decay.

Ultimately, we do not want you to have to come in and receive a crown.  As dentists we want to help you keep the majority of your tooth structure for as long as possible.  Forever is the aim.  If you’ve had a filling done somewhere else and you’ve got concerns, come in for a checkup and we’ll determine if there are any risks.  After you have a filling with us, we’ll keep an eye on it when you have your regular checkups.  A filling doesn’t need to fall out before it needs a replacement.  As soon as the filling is compromised, your teeth are compromised so pay attention to it and seek advice if you have concerns.

Does It Hurt When You Get A Dental Filling?

A dental filling or tooth filling is used to repair a defect in a tooth.  The defect is most commonly due to a dental cavity or tooth cavity which has been caused by dental decay or tooth decay.  The dental filling process involves removing the damaged tooth structure, preparing the surface and adhering or bonding a white tooth filling material to the tooth to cover the defect.  Front tooth fillings and back teeth fillings are done in a similar fashion, with more emphasis on aesthetics at the front of the mouth obviously.  Getting a tooth filling, does it hurt?  In most cases, you will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the area, so you will feel no pain or discomfort.  For very small areas, you may not need an injection and still feel nothing at all.  Is there dental filling pain or sensitivity after it is placed?  Generally, there is no major pain or discomfort after a dental filling, unless it has to be very deep and close to the nerve of the tooth.  In these cases, any tooth or filling sensitivity usually subsides quickly with time.  What are the prices for dental fillings?  The dental filling cost may be as low as $90 for a very small one, but generally depends on size and complexity.  We can provide a treatment plan with dental item numbers for you to check what your health fund will pay towards your teeth fillings.  We are preferred providers for many health funds which will give you discounted prices and maximum health fund rebates for the treatment.  View Terms and Conditions.  You can review the treatment plan before deciding to go ahead.  As a temporary measure if you cannot come in to see one of our dentists at our Brisbane CBD dental clinic, there are temporary tooth cavity filling materials for at home use for emergency situations like when you are travelling or live in a rural or remote area.  However, these are cheap dental filling materials and need to be replaced by a proper tooth filling quickly.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.