Do you have a cavity? You'll likely need a dental filling to restore your tooth. Our dentists in Burnaby can use different types of fillings to get the job done. We explain why you'd need a tooth filling and describe the different types of fillings we offer.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are used to restore the function, appearance and structure of a tooth that's been damaged or decayed. These restorations can alleviate tooth pain you may be experiencing.
Why are dental fillings used?
Cracks, tooth decay and fractures can be fixed with tooth fillings, which can help restore functionality to your tooth. In some cases, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile.
What are some signs I may need a dental filling?
Visit a dentist to find out whether you need a filling. In the meantime, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. If you experience any of these, book an appointment with your dentist:
- Your feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
- You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
- An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
- Your tooth feels rough to the touch.
- Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth.
- Your tooth is broken or chipped.
- When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot.
What are dental fillings made of?
Dental fillings can be made from many materials, including composite (white) and amalgam (silver). While each of these materials is long-lasting and safe, they also each offer their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to fixing decay or a cavity. In this post, our dentists provide advice about how to make the right dental choice for you.
Inlays & Onlays
Made from porcelain, inlays and onlays are hard, brittle and made in combination with metal. Constructed in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong-tooth-coloured dental restorations are usually used on molars as they last longer and are more durable than a regular dental filling.
You'll usually require two dental appointments so the porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.
Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel
Because they are very similar in colour to natural teeth, composite fillings tend to blend in well with the surrounding teeth.
They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.
Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.
Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.
A curing light is used to harden each layer. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.
Amalgam Fillings for Durability
Amalgam fillings are a favourite for their strength and durability, as they are less likely to break compared to other materials. They are also less expensive and take less time to place. However, they are not as natural-looking as composite.
Your dentist may recommend these for back teeth or large cavities.