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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

When you are in need of a dental filling, whether due to a crack, cavity or other damage, there will be more than one option to choose from. In this post, our Cornwall dentists share the reasons for needing a dental filling and what the different types of fillings are.

Dental Fillings: What are they?

Dental fillings are a restorative service used to restore the structure, function and appearance of a tooth that's been damaged or decayed, alleviating tooth pain you may be experiencing.

What is the purpose of dental fillings?

Tooth fillings can fix fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. This dental restoration not only can restore your tooth and its functionality but also helps to alter its appearance for cosmetic purposes.

What signs should I watch for?

Visiting your dentist for an examination is the only way that you can be sure that you are in need of a filling. But here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. Speak with your dentist right away if you notice any of the signs below:

    1. You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
    2. When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
    3. Your tooth is broken or chipped. 
    4. Your tooth feels rough to the touch. 
    5. Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth. 
    6. An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked. 
    7. You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.

    What are the different types of dental fillings?

    Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. All of the materials listed are able to last for a long time but there are differences between each of these including their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you. 

    Porcelain Fillings: Offering Strength

    Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling. 

    Your dentist will schedule you for two separate visits to place these fillings in place.

    Composite Fillings: Allowing For a Natural Appearance

    Composite fillings are a popular choice thanks to their similarity in colour to the surrounding teeth. This allows them to blend in making them harder to spot.

    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.

    Your dentist will cure the filling with a special light after which they will shape the filling to make it blend in with your other teeth,

    Gold Fillings: Used For Durability

    Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.

    It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.

    If you would like like to learn more about restorative services at Cornwall Dental Care, contact our Cornwall dentists today.

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