What is a Dental Filling?
A Dental Filling helps to repair a damaged or decayed tooth, so you can eat, drink and talk. First, the dental decay is removed from your tooth. Then, the affected area is cleaned, and the cleaned out area is filled with filling material.
Fillings help prevent further dental decay by removing areas on your tooth where bacteria may hide and cause damage.
How do you know if you need a Dental Filling?
Generally only your dentist can tell if you have dental decay in your tooth that may require a Filling. An examination by Dr Linc will reveal if a Dental Filling is necessary. Dr Linc will use a small mirror to examine all the surfaces of your teeth and may recommend x-rays to see between your teeth and under the gums.
What type of Dental Filling is best for you?
There are various types of Fillings and Dr Linc will discuss with you a number of factors when choosing the type of Filling that is going to be best to restore your tooth. These factors include the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain dental materials, where in your mouth the Filling is needed and the cost.
- Composite (White) Fillings – A Composite Filling is tooth coloured and is made from plastic and fine glass particles. Composite Fillings bond directly to your tooth, reducing the amount of drilling needed. Because they are tooth coloured, Composite Fillings are often used on front teeth. They are not ideal for large Fillings as they have a tendency to chip or wear over time. Composite Fillings can also be prone to stains from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings.
- Amalgam (Silver) Fillings – Amalgam Fillings are made from metals including mercury and silver. This type of Filling is often used for Fillings in your back teeth. Amalgam is quite resistant to wear, strong and relatively inexpensive. However, because it is not tooth coloured, it is not commonly used these days.
- Gold Fillings – Gold Fillings are made from Gold Alloy. Gold Fillings often show up as black in photos and are costly. However, because they are made from a durable material, they are extremely strong and last many times longer than Composite or Amalgam Fillings. Gold Fillings are handmade in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold is tolerated well by your gums and has been known to last more than 20 years.
- Porcelain Fillings – Porcelain Fillings are made of tooth coloured porcelain and look just as natural as your real teeth. They are sometimes called inlays or onlays and are handmade in a laboratory and then bonded to your tooth. A Porcelain Filling generally covers most of your tooth and is ideal for medium to large Fillings. Porcelain Fillings are stronger, more natural looking and resistant to stain than composite, amalgam and gold, but they can be expensive. However, Porcelain Fillings last a very long time and because of this, they are a popular longterm Filling choice.
- Glass Ionomer – Glass Ionomer Fillings are made from acrylic and a component of glass (fluoroaluminosilicate) which is tooth coloured and strong. It is often used on teeth that have a lot of dental decay on the root surface or below the gum line. It is also often used for filling baby teeth in children.
If you have dental decay or a crack in your tooth that has damaged a large portion of your tooth, Dr Linc may recommend a crown or cap to restore your tooth. If dental decay has reached the pulp inside your tooth, it may be treated in two ways: through root canal therapy or a procedure known as Pulp Capping.
- Local anaesthesia – at the beginning of your Filling procedure, Dr Linc will normally give you local anesthesia with The Wand to numb the area around your tooth
- Placement of rubber dam – Once numb, Dr Linc will place a sheet of rubber around your mouth, isolating the infected tooth. This helps keep the tooth dry and clean during the Filling procedure
- Remove tooth decay – Dr Linc will usually cut through the enamel using a drill to remove any dental decay and then shape the area so it is ready for the placement of the Filling material
- Etching – for bonded Fillings, Dr Linc will etch the tooth surface with an acid gel before the Filling placement
- Composite Filling placement – Dr Linc will layer the composite and harden it using a bright light to make it strong
- Polish – after the Filling has been placed and is hard, Dr Linc will trim and polish the new Filling to the correct height and shape
Dr Linc, and OHT Katelyn are available at Harris Dental Boutique Bargara dental practice near Bundaberg, Monday to Friday at Shop 2/16 See Street Bargara Q 4670. There are usually appointment times available each day to see new patients or dental emergencies. Give the front office team a call on 07 41590 660 to organise a time that suits you, contact us for more information or book an appointment with Dr Linc in Bargara near Bundaberg.