phone 020 8800 2244
Book Online

What are dental fillings?

Fillings are the most common repair jobs in dentistry. Dentists most frequently deal with cases of cavity which call for a repair process including filling. The filling is used to restore a damaged tooth and bring back its original shape and function. It is applied only if the tooth has a hole caused either by decay or plaque. 

How do dental fillings work?

Their primary function is to close up an opening in a tooth to prevent further bacteria spreading and decay. Most commonly, cavity is followed with the filling process. The dentist first has to remove the decayed area of the tooth as well as thoroughly clean it with the corresponding medicine. Removing the damaged area leaves a hole in the tooth which needs to be closed due to many reasons. First, leaving an opening in a tooth can cause bacteria to gather and create more damage. Second, the tooth has to be filled for aesthetic reasons. After the dentist cleans the area, he inserts the filling material in the tooth. It is important to close the area completely so that no bacteria can find its way in.

Types of dental fillings

There are many types of dental fillings that are available nowadays. Your dentist will determine which type of filling you need, depending on where the damaged tooth is located in your mouth, if you are allergic to any of the materials and what cost are you willing to go to.

Composite or plastic resins are practical for aesthetic reasons. They are made to match your tooth color and therefore used in the front teeth. However, they don't last as long and can get stained by coffee or tobacco or even chipped. Porcelain fillings are a more advanced version of composite resins. They match your teeth colour and last longer because of better quality. To get a porcelain filling you will need to order it to be made in the lab which will take time and money as well.

If you notice you might be getting cavity, it is important to visit your dentist immediately to prevent further damage. Getting a filling is painless since you will get an anesthetic shot prior to starting the process. Fillings should be replaced every 7 to 12 years unless you get gold or porcelain ones which can last much longer. To prevent getting cavity and needing a filling, make sure you take care of your oral hygiene regularly. However, fillings are not such a big deal.

For further information on this vital topic, contact our practice for a friendly consultation!