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Fillings

Your oral health is of utmost importance to our team here at Mann Dental in Prince George, BC. Fillings are routinely used to repair decayed, chipped or broken teeth.

There are several different types of fillings. Our skilled dentists will help you to select the best filling for your needs. For more information about fillings see the information below. Call us today at 250-564-8988 or fill out our online appointment request form to request an appointment!

When you go for a dental exam, your dentist checks your fillings and may suggest that you replace any loose or broken ones. Your dentist also looks for signs of decay, such as brown or black spots and may want to use X-rays to take a closer look at problem spots.

If you have a cavity, your dentist may keep an eye on it (if it's small) or fill it right away. If a large cavity is not filled, it can get bigger and cause pain. The tooth may even have to be removed and replaced with a false (or artificial) tooth. If you have a cavity and it needs a filling, there are different kinds of fillings to do the job. Your dentist cares about you and your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about fillings, talk to your dentist. He or she will advise you on the type of filling that works best in your particular case, and inform you about the aesthetic and cost implications for each type.

There are several different types of fillings that can be used to fill a cavity, but the final decision on which type of filling is placed in your mouth is yours alone.

 

How Fillings Are Done

To fill a cavity, your dentist may first give you “freezing” (or local anesthetic), so you do not feel any pain. Your dentist then takes out all traces of decay, shapes the hole and fills it.

Most fillings are done in two ways:

Direct Filling – These fillings go right into the cavity, after your dentist has cleaned out the decay. Amalgam (or silver) fillings and plastic (or white) fillings are examples of direct fillings. They harden quickly. Most of the time, you will be able to have a direct filling put in place in one appointment.

Indirect Filling – Examples of this type of filling are crowns (or caps) and inlays. They are custom made in a lab to fit your tooth. Your dentist cements the filling in place. Most indirect fillings take two or more appointments to complete.

Dental amalgam is the best-known direct material. Cast gold alloy is the most durable indirect material. However, ceramics are gaining in popularity because of their longevity relative to other tooth-coloured materials. Remember, your dentist is interested in you and your oral health. If you are concerned about having any particular dental restorative materials placed in your teeth, talk to your dentist and be a partner in decisions about your oral health care.

 

Tooth-coloured Fillings

1. Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are also called plastic or white fillings. To place this filling, your dentist cleans all decay from the tooth and puts a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the hole. Composite resin is put into the hole in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that your dentist holds over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, your dentist shapes the filling so it looks and feels natural.

Advantages

  • These fillings will be the same colour as your natural teeth.
  • They cost less than gold fillings.
  • They are direct fillings, so they can be done in one appointment, in most cases.

Disadvantages

  • This kind of filling can break more easily than amalgam or gold fillings, and may not last as long.
  • Composite fillings cost more than amalgam fillings.
  • Recurrent decay is more of a problem than with amalgam or gold fillings.

 

2. Glass Ionomer Materials

Glass ionomer materials are only used in teeth where you do not bite down hard. There have not been many studies about how long this kind of filling lasts. Newer forms of the filling may be stronger and last longer. Research is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of these materials.

Advantages

  • These fillings are the same colour as your natural teeth.
  • They contain fluoride, which helps stop recurrent decay in the tooth.
  • They do not have to be put in layer by layer; thus, they are simpler to put in than composite resins.
  • They are direct fillings and can be done in one appointment, in most cases.
  • They cost less than gold fillings.

Disadvantages

  • They are not as strong and will not last as long as other fillings.
  • They cost more than amalgam fillings.

 

3. Porcelain Materials

Porcelain materials are the most common type of dental ceramic used by dentists. They are hard and brittle. Porcelain and metal can be combined to make a strong, tooth-coloured crown.

Dental porcelain is made in a dental lab. Unless you have a bad tooth-grinding habit or some other problem, a combination of porcelain and metal can be used anywhere in the mouth.

Advantages

  • Dental porcelain is the same colour as natural teeth.
  • These fillings last a long time.

Disadvantages

  • For teeth that bite down hard - like molars - ceramics are not a good choice. Fillings can break.
  • They are indirect fillings, so at least two appointments will be needed.
  • They cost more than most other types of fillings.

For more information on dental fillings, contact Mann Dental today.