Fillings

Reasons for giving fillings

Tooth decay eats away at the structure of a tooth, causing holes known as cavities. Your dentist can remove the decay, but if the cavity is left, bacteria can enter the whole and cause further decay. A hole in a tooth also makes that tooth weaker. In order to avoid these problems, your dentist will fill the cavity.


What fillings are made of

Fillings can be made from a number of different materials:

Amalgam – silver fillings, made from several metals including silver and mercury
Composite – resin which matches the colour of the tooth
Glass – dental cement containing glass powder, which matches the tooth colour
Gold
Porcelain

For many years, amalgam fillings have been the most commonly used in dentistry. Gold fillings are also popular as, though more expensive, they are strong and long-lasting. However, many people are sensitive to the materials used in metal fillings. You may also feel that metal fillings are unsightly as they do not match the colour of your tooth.

Fillings

White fillings

White fillings, made of composite, glass or porcelain, have traditionally been considered to be less long-lasting than metal fillings. However, modern materials used in white fillings have proven to be as durable as amalgam.

What is involved in giving a filling

Your dentist will remove all decay from the tooth and fill the cavity with the chosen material. Pain relief will be given and you should not feel any pain or discomfort. Depending on the material used, some time may be required for the filling to set, and your dentist may advise you to avoid food and drink for a short time.

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