Fillings

Fillings are a way to repair the tooth structure that is lost due to decay, accidental damage (fractures) or wear from grinding.

You may need a filling if you experience symptoms like toothache, sensitivity to hot/cold/sweet foods and beverages or pain on biting/chewing.

Your dentist will carry out a thorough dental examination, accompanied by X-rays, to establish the need for a filling. If the result is affirmative, it is important to have any cavities filled immediately, to prevent any further deterioration of the teeth, which may cause infection and dental abscesses.

There are various types of materials that can be used. Each material has different qualities and it depends on individual clinical scenarios that your dentist will advise you what will be best suited for the tooth and how to prevent further damage.

Composite

White (tooth coloured) resin material that is used to recreate the natural appearance of the tooth. They can be technique sensitive, but also provide a more conservative/less invasive way to follow modern minimally invasive treatment plans. Another major advantage their ability to be repaired and refurbished.

Glass ionomer

A bioactive tooth coloured material that can be used for short to medium term repairs/stabilisation of teeth. They are relatively quick and simple to place in comparison to the more longer lasting composite material.

Fissure Sealants

These are a resin based material that be used to seal the deep grooves in back teeth when the risk of decay is high. They can be electively used on both children to prevent decay in newly erupted molar teeth. They need to monitored regularly to assess their integrity.

Amalgam

A commonly used simple restorative material that is silver in colour. The material is a metal alloy containing tin, copper, silver and mercury. The disadvantage is that it tends to more invasive to place and difficult to repair. However, it has been used for over 180 years with good long term outcomes. It is considered safe to use in the mouth despite what the press might say. The main concerns with the use is with the safe disposal in line with the Minimata Convention on Mercury 2013.

Future

A range of bioactive materials with the potential for regrowth/remineralisation of decayed teeth. Watch this space…