Despite our best efforts, cavities occur in children and adult’s teeth. Fillings are required to prevent further decay to the tooth and to avoid the spread to surrounding teeth.
After careful examination and x-ray, the dentist can confirm the presence of a cavity or dental decay. The dentist will discuss which material would best be suited for the affected area and selection will be made based on function, aesthetic value and patient goals. Once the tooth area is frozen, the dentist removes decay and shapes the hole. He or she can place a direct filling in one visit, such as an amalgam filling (silver-coloured) or composite (white). Today, many people are opting for new materials that imitate the natural colour of their teeth and choosing to replace their older fillings with these when the need arises. In our dental clinic, we can also complete an indirect filling such as a crown or inlay, custom made to your tooth. This can take two or more visits to complete. Ceramic materials and specifically porcelain are also gaining in popularity due to their longevity and natural appearance. The dentist can layer composite materials when filling the hole, and shape the material to appear and feel natural. Glass ionomer is also another white option. Today’s materials offer many options, strengths and uses. New materials are being developed and refined continuously, backed by research and practical studies.
Some people prefer to replace amalgam fillings or avoid them due to possible concerns about the mercury contained in them and the potential for leaking, allergies or potential side effects. Amalgam fillings are considered durable, inexpensive and safe. They are approved in most countries and have been in use for over 150 years. Should you have any concerns about potential or existing fillings, please discuss this directly with or dentists in our dental practice.
Our dental practice has many materials from which to choose, depending on the affected tooth surface, the aesthetic and cost considerations. Our dental team will make specific recommendations for you, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each considered material as well as the costs involved. We want to answer your questions because we care about you and your oral health. We respect your treatment decisions.
Although we can’t erase a cavity, we can prevent the spread and make your tooth appear and feel as natural as possible. On a positive note, dental caries are on the decline over the past 30 years, thanks to overall improved oral hygiene. Prevention is still the best line of defense.