Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth caused by decay or a fracture.
There are two main filling types:
- Composite (tooth coloured)
- Amalgam (metal)
On the NHS your dentist will offer the most prudent and economical filling for your clinical needs. In the majority of cases this will be an amalgam filling on back teeth.
If you would like your back teeth filled indepentently, with the more aesthetic composite, simply ask your Dentist.
Inlays/Onlays are lab made fillings, these are sometimes necessary to be able to get the correct shape and strength to rebuild your tooth.
Ever wanted your existing fillings replaced to white ones?
This is a safe procedure which involves removing the old filling and any decay which may have developed, then placing the tooth coloured filling material. The material is made of composite that is very tough and can withstand the natural forces in your mouth when you bite and chew.
Having tooth coloured fillings will give you the confidence to laugh and smile without worrying that your fillings will be noticed.
Dental decay is caused by harmful bacteria within your mouth. When bacteria are within your mouth they consume sugars to survive and as a byproduct produce acids. These acids breakdown the structure of your teeth creating holes. If left unchecked the bacteria can get down to the nerve of the tooth causing pain and infection.
Ultimately this can lead to the loss of the tooth.
Simply put the more bacteria present and the more sugar you feed them the more likely it is to get decay.
All foods and drinks (except water) have sugars within them but some have a higher sugar content.
Also remember to be careful of hidden sugars in foods that may seem healthy and don't forget to think about your drinks!
Fluoride can strengthen teeth against decay and help to remineralise teeth once they start to breakdown.
It is important to make sure your toothpaste has Fluoride in it.
Golden rules to prevent decay:
1. Remove bacteria by regular brushing
2. Reduce sugar intake and limit
how often you have it
3. Use a Fluoride containing toothpaste
at least twice a day
Inlay or Onlay
Your dentist may suggest you have an Inlay or an Onlay instead of a filling. These are restorations which are constructed by a technician in a lab.
There are certain situations where a crown may not be suitable but also a filling not satisfy all requirements.
By being made externally the margins between teeth can be better as well as being made of stronger materials.
This is usually a clinical decision and will be discussed should it be deemed a good treatment option.