Dental fillings play a crucial role in maintaining oral health by restoring and preserving teeth affected by decay, damage, or other conditions. Understanding what dental fillings are and how they work is essential for anyone concerned about their dental care.
In this guide, we’ll delve into the fundamentals of dental fillings, exploring the different types available, their purpose, the procedure involved in getting them, how long they typically last, and signs indicating when replacement may be needed. Let’s dive in to discover more about this essential aspect of dental health.

Types of Dental Fillings?

Types of Dental Fillings?

Fillings are commonly used to repair cavities and strengthen teeth, enabling individuals to maintain proper dental hygiene and functionality. There are several different types of dental filling materials available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common types:

1- Composite Resin

Composite fillings, also known as composites or filled resins, are fillings made from glass or quartz and can match tooth color. Composite fillings are also fairly durable and are ideal for small-to-midsize restorations in areas of your mouth that perform moderate chewing.
Composite resin comes in white or tooth-colored material. It is compatible with the color of your other teeth. Your tooth is bound or cemented to the composite resin filling substance. When you receive a composite filling, a tiny portion of your natural tooth is removed.

2- Gold Fillings

Gold fillings can last up to 20 years if taken care of properly. They do not oxidize in the mouth and are quite durable. When hot or cold food is consumed over time, gold fillings do not expand and compress like other dental fillings do. Because of their integrity, you can be sure that there won’t be any gaps between the filling substance and the tooth, which could cause injury.
Unfortunately, installing gold fillings costs a lot of money and necessitates several dental appointments.

3- Ceramic Filling

Compared to composite fillings, ceramic fillings are less likely to get stained over time because they are frequently composed of porcelain materials. These fillings, which can last up to 15 years, resemble your real tooth and are significantly more durable than composite fillings.
Ceramic fillings cost a little bit more than amalgam and composite fillings, though.

4- Glass Ionomer Filling

The short-lasting (less than five years) glass ionomer fillings, also referred to as acrylic fillings, are a good option for children whose teeth are still growing.
Glass ionomer, which acts as a temporary dental filling between the exposed dentin and enamel, is basically a flexible cement paste. Silicate-glass powder, the raw material for the cement paste, forms a direct bond with the surface of the broken tooth.
Fluoride included in this powder releases gradually into the mouth over time. In addition to improving oral health in general, fluoride is excellent at preventing dental decay.

5- Porcelain Fillings

Inlays and onlays are terms for porcelain fillings that are made to order in a lab and subsequently cemented to the tooth.
They are stain-resistant and can be made to match the color of the tooth. The majority of the tooth is often covered by a porcelain restoration. Their cost is similar to gold.

The Filling Procedure at Enhance Dental Centre

The Filling Procedure at Enhance Dental Centre

At Enhance Dental Centre, we prioritize understanding your dental needs. Your initial consultation will involve:
Meeting your dentist: You’ll have a chance to discuss your concerns and get to know the experienced and gentle dentist who will be performing your filling.
Examination: The dentist will carefully examine your teeth, looking for cavities or other damage.
X-rays (if needed): X-rays may be necessary to get a clearer picture of the extent of the cavity and plan the filling placement accurately.
Treatment plan discussion: Based on the examination and X-rays (if taken), the dentist will discuss the recommended treatment plan, including the type of filling material and the procedure itself. They will answer any questions you may have and ensure you feel comfortable with the process.

The Filling Process

Once you and the dentist have decided to proceed with the filling, here’s a general idea of what to expect:

  • Local anesthesia: For your comfort, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth being filled. You’ll likely feel a slight pinch from the injection, but the tooth itself will be numb.
  • Decay removal: Using a dental drill or laser (depending on the dentist’s preference and the severity of the cavity), the dentist will carefully remove the decayed portion of your tooth.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting: The dentist will thoroughly clean and disinfect the area to remove any remaining bacteria or debris.
  • Filling placement: The dentist will then fill the cavity with the chosen filling material. For composite fillings, a special light may be used to harden the material.
  • Bite adjustment: Finally, the dentist will check your bite to ensure the filling feels comfortable and doesn’t interfere with your chewing.

Are you ready to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile? Schedule your consultation at Enhance Dental Centre today! We offer convenient appointment times and a comfortable environment. Call us at 604-733-1022 or request your appointment online.

What Are the Benefits of a Dental Filling?

What Are the Benefits of a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings offer several advantages for your oral health:

Stops Cavity Progression

The primary benefit is halting the progress of tooth decay. Cavities are caused by bacteria that eat away at the tooth enamel. Fillings remove the decayed area and prevent further erosion, protecting the healthy part of the tooth.

Preserves Tooth Structure

By stopping the cavity, fillings help retain the original structure of your tooth. This prevents the need for more extensive procedures like crowns or root canals in the future.

Reduces Pain and Sensitivity

Cavities can cause discomfort, especially with hot or cold beverages. Fillings eliminate this pain and sensitivity by restoring the tooth structure.

Improves Functionality

Teeth with cavities can become fragile and break easily. Fillings restore strength and functionality, allowing you to chew comfortably.

Enhances Appearance

Certain filling materials like composite resin offer a natural tooth color, improving the aesthetics of your smile, particularly for cavities in the visible front teeth.
While generally safe, dental fillings do come with some potential risks:

What Are Some of the Risks of a Dental Filling?

Infection

Gaps may develop between the filling and the tooth. This allows bacteria to seep in and cause an infection.

Discomfort

Temporary sensitivity to hot or cold may occur after the procedure, but this usually subsides within a few days. In cases when there is a large amount of decay removed, more persistent discomfort might necessitate further examination by your dentist.

Fracture or Chipping

Fillings, especially composite ones, can chip or fracture under heavy pressure, particularly if placed on large cavities or subjected to teeth grinding.

Loosening or Falling Out

Over time, fillings can loosen or fall out due to wear and tear, or if the cavity underneath wasn’t entirely removed.

Allergic Reaction

In very rare cases, some people might have an allergic reaction to specific filling materials, like certain components in amalgam fillings.

What Are Some of the Risks of a Dental Filling?

When Should Fillings Be Replaced?

You might be fortunate enough to never require a filling replacement, but chances are that at some point in your life, a filling could crack or wear down, no longer effectively shielding the tooth from decay. In some instances, a filling might simply dislodge and require replacement.
Initially, you may not notice when a filling begins to have issues, but your dentist is trained to identify potential problems early on during regular checkups. Using a tool called an explorer, your dentist will probe around the edges of the filling to ensure it remains tightly sealed to the tooth and to detect any areas where bacteria could penetrate, leading to further decay.
Dental X-rays can also uncover decay beneath the filling or in nearby areas. If it appears that the filling is no longer preventing bacteria from entering and supporting the tooth, it’s time for a replacement.
Additionally, a sore or sensitive tooth could signal the need for filling replacement, but it’s advisable not to wait until symptoms arise before having your fillings routinely examined.

Conclusion

Dental fillings are a vital tool for restoring the health and function of teeth affected by cavities, cracks, or wear. Regular dental checkups and prompt treatment of cavities can help prevent the need for fillings in the first place. However, if you do require a filling, choosing a qualified and experienced dentist is essential.
Enhance Dental Centre offers a comfortable and professional environment for all your dental needs. Our team of gentle dentists utilizes the latest techniques and high-quality materials to ensure your fillings are both durable and aesthetically pleasing.