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
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.