Fillings: Repairing Damage Teeth | Elite Dental Group
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What are dental fillings?

 

Fillings are used to repair decayed teeth. Bacteria living on the surfaces of the teeth digest sugary/starchy food residue making cavities in the process.

 

 

How do I know when I need a filling?

 

A decayed tooth may have a dark brown or black area visible externally. Also, the decay process may have hollowed out the tooth causing it to cave in or break off partially.

 

Tooth Decay

 

When the decay is still in the early stages, the tooth may look normal with no signs or symptoms at all! Dental x-rays help your dentist to see early decay that is unseen by the naked eye. Decay in between the teeth, underneath the gum, under old fillings or crowns can be uncovered by x-rays. Fillings are generally successful when done at this early stage. Certain very early stages of decay may only require monitoring and preventive treatment (fluoride varnish, fissure sealants).

 

 

On the other hand, if the decay is deep and aggressive, and has begun to infect the nerve (pulp) of the tooth, you may start to experience a toothache. This cannot be resolved with only a filling. A root canal treatment or an extraction with a tooth replacement with a dental implant is required at this stage.

 

 

What are dental fillings made of?

 

  • Mercury Amalgam
  • Composite resin (tooth-coloured plastic)
  • Porcelain
  • Cast Metal or Gold

 

 

Composite fillings perform well in small to medium-sized cavities.

 

 

Porcelain and cast metal/gold are better for filling large cavities and for reinforcing cusps in root canal-treated teeth. Gold is also the strongest yet least-abrasive filling material with the longest track record of success.

 

 

Elite Dental is a mercury-free practice and we do not offer amalgam as a material option.

 

 

How is a composite resin filling done?

 

Step 1: Removing the decay

 

First, your tooth and the surrounding tissues will be numbed with local anaesthetic. Decay and any old and defective filling material is then removed from your tooth.

 

 

Step 2: Adhesive application

 

The fresh cavity is roughened with a chemical etchant. The etched surface is painted with an adhesive that will bond the filling material to your tooth and protect the cavity surface. The adhesive layer is set with a special light.

 

 

Step 3: Filling the cavity

 

Composite material is then placed incrementally, layer by layer, into the cavity and carefully adapted to the cavity walls. The composite is then hardened with a light. Finally, your bite is checked and the filling is polished.

 

 

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FAQ

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How long do dental fillings last?

From a few years to decades depending on the type of fillings and your oral hygiene and habits.

 

Poor hygiene practices and bruxism (grinding) can decrease the lifespan of fillings.

Do fillings hurt?

We routinely administer local anesthesia to numb the tooth and gums before starting the filling procedure. This ensures a pain-free experience.

Do fillings stop cavities?

Fillings are the treatment of choice for cavities. The tooth decay is removed with our special instruments and the cavity is filled. This process helps to stop the progression of the decay.

What are the best fillings for teeth?

There are different materials for fillings – amalgam (silver/metal/mercury filling), composite (tooth-coloured fillings), ceramic/porcelain, and gold.

 

Gold fillings are known to last the longest, but are usually not preferred by patients because of aesthetic concerns.

 

Composite fillings are the most commonly used material and it looks natural.

 

Ceramic fillings are stronger and look natural as well.

 

We do not use amalgam fillings in our practice.

 

Talk to our dentist on which type of filling is best suited for your condition!

How soon can you brush teeth after a dental filling?

Dental fillings done are permanent restorations. You may brush your teeth immediately after the filling procedure. Check with your dentist for any exceptions.

How much does the average dental filling cost?

A filling can range between $150-2000 depending on the type of material chosen and the complexity of the procedure.

 

Consult our dentist for an accurate quote based on your current condition.