Fillings are one of the most common type of dental treatments done at the dentist .Fillings can be placed due to chips, cracks, wear and most commonly due to tooth decay. They can be filled with gold, amalgam, or as done most commonly these days – tooth coloured plastic and glass materials called composite resin.
Typically placed under local anaesthetic, the tooth is first cleaned of the decay before being restored with a resin material. It’s important to keep the tooth dry throughout filling placement so that the tooth coloured plastic filling sticks.
An alternative to the tooth coloured plastic filling is a ceramic filling. Although these are more expensive, they are a longer lasting permanent alternative. Commonly placed over 2 appointments they, together with gold fillings are the gold standard filling material. Ceramic fillings are also called inlays or onlays. For more information on the pros and cons of resin vs ceramic read our blog article here.
The earlier your dentist spots your tooth decay, the easier it’ll be to fill, as the cavity will be smaller.
A filling is quite often a relatively quick procedure that can be completed in just one visit.
Dental fillings helps reestablish the tooth’s strength while protecting its interior from further bacterial destruction.
What's the procedure like?
To treat a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth, place the glue and then layer the filling in increments to fill the cavity where the decayed material was removed.
The filling will then be set with a special light. After filling the cavity, the filling will be trimmed and polsihed to ensure it does not interfere with your chewing. This process will be completed in a few minutes.
*Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down.
How painful is getting a filling?
Not painful at all. Our Dentists will make sure that you are fully numb before starting the procedure. The Dentist will use a numbing gel before injecting a local anesthetic . You may feel a little sting with the local anesthetic, but that will subside within a second as the anesthetic blocks the nerve signals of pain.
The length of time the local anaesthetic takes to wear off, depends on what type of anaesthetic was used. It usually lasts for approximately 4 – 6 hours.