Fillings are used to treat cavities, cracked and broken teeth. The Plaza Health dentist will remove any decayed or rotten tooth material and fill the hole with filling material.

What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?

Step 1. Numb the area with an anesthetic.
Step 2. Decayed material is drilled out.
Step 3. Clean the cavity
Step 4. If the filling is deep, you may need root canal treatment or a liner placed into the cavity.
Step 5. Place the filling
Step 6. Polish the filling.

What Types of Filling Materials Are Available?

Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; mercury amalgam; or tooth-colored, plastic, and materials called composite resin fillings.

Gold Fillings

Durability – they last 10 to 15 years
Strength – they are very strong
Aesthetics – some patients like the look!

Expense – gold is very expensive, the fillings cost about 10 times the normal cost.
Additional visits – fillings take 2 visits to complete
Galvanic shock – the interaction between the metals and saliva can cause an electric shock to occur! Aesthetics – many patients don’t want fillings to stand out

Mercury Amalgams (silver fillings)

Durability – silver fillings last 10 to 15 years
Strength – they are very strong
Expense – they are great value

Poor aesthetics – they stand out
Destruction of the tooth – they need healthy tooth to be removed to make space for them
Colour – amalgam fillings can ‘stain’ other teeth
Cracks – they can crack with hot and cold food/drinks
Allergic reactions – some patients are allergic to them

Tooth coloured Composites

Aesthetics – they blend into your mouth
Strength – composite fillings bond to tooth structure
Versatility – composite fillings can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
Preparation – less tooth structure needs to be removed
Lack of durability – composite fillings wear out sooner than amalgam fillings
Increased chair time – fillings take up 20 minutes longer to fit
Visits – if composites are used for inlays or onlays, multiple visits are needed
Chipping – composite materials can chip off a tooth
Expense – composite fillings can cost a bit more

Other Filling Types

Ceramics. These fillings are made of porcelain, are more resistant to staining and last more than 15 years. They are as expensive as gold fillings.

Glass ionomer is commonly used for fillings below the gum line and for fillings in young children. Glass ionomers release fluoride, which can help protect teeth.

What Are Indirect Fillings?

Indirect fillings are made in a dental lab and need two visits for fitting. These are used when a tooth needs a very big filling but not a crown.
On your first visit the tooth is prepared and an impression of the tooth taken, the lab uses this to make the filling.
A temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth while you wait.
On your second visit, the temporary filling is removed, and the new Indirect filling placed.

The two types of indirect fillings are inlays and onlays.
Inlays lie within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
Onlays (partial crowns) cover one or more cusps

Inlays and onlays are very strong and can last up to 30 years. They can be made from composite resin, porcelain, or gold.

What’s a temporary filling

Temporary fillings are used if:
You need more than one appointment to fit your permanent filling
After a root canal
In a dental emergency
Temporary fillings usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within a month.

Are Mercury Amalgam fillings safe?

These fillings contain mercury, some people believe they cause autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
There’s no proof that dental fillings cause harm to patients. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the removal of amalgam fillings cure any of these or diseases.
Amalgams contain mercury, but when they are mixed with other metals they form a stable alloy that dentists have used for more than 100 years.

How Should I Care for My Teeth With Fillings?

Treat them just like normal teeth: brush, floss, use mouthwash and mind sugary foods.

Problems With Dental Fillings

Tooth Pain and Sensitivity

Teeth can be sensitive after a filling. It usually passes in a week or two.
But contact your dentist if you’re still having issues after 2 weeks.
In the worst case, when a filling has been very deep, you may need a root canal treatment.

Sometimes a filling might need a bit more polishing to give you a good bite contact.

Sometimes patients experience pain in adjoining teeth, this is called referred pain, it passes in a week or two.

Filling Allergies

Allergic reactions to fillings are rare. Symptoms include skin rashes and itching. In these cases, the filling is removed, and an alternative material used.

Ready to take the next step? Our Dentist at Plaza Health are here to help.

Book a consultation today.
You can book online
or give us a call on 01 444 0709

Front Tooth Filling