Fillings

Sometimes, your teeth will get damaged, either due to an accident while eating or playing sport, or just through long-term decay. When this happens, we want to ensure that you can keep as much of the natural tooth as possible.

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What is a Filling?

Most people will have had fillings at some point in their life, and the function of the filling is to fill a gap left as a result of tooth decay or damage. Having a filling means that your tooth will be back to normal in both its function and form. By filling a tooth, it is stopping bacteria from entering the hole that has developed, and this means that you will be able to avoid any decay in the future

What can fillings be made from?

There are a few different kinds of materials that can be used for fillings, and there are different reasons that we might recommend each one to you. Many people have allergies to certain metals, so you can be assured that if this is the case with you, we have plenty of alternatives. The materials we are able to use are:

  • Gold: These are always made to order in a lab, and they have been shown to last for more than 20 years once cemented into place. This is often considered to be the best material to opt for, however, you also have to consider the fact that they are more expensive than other options, and you will need to come back for more than one visit

  • Silver: These are a relatively common option due to the fact that they are not expensive. They can be wear-resistant, meaning that it is less likely they’ll need to be replaced in the future. However, they can be seen quite easily, so might not be the best choice for a prominent tooth

  • Composite resin: these can be made to be the same colour as your natural teeth, meaning nobody will notice that you have a filling

  • Porcelain: these need to be made in a lab, but they can be the same colour as your tooth and are stain-resistant

There is a chance that if your tooth has been damaged badly, you may need a crown to be fitted, as a filling might not be enough to deal with the damage.

How is a filling carried out?

During the procedure, you may be given a local anaesthetic, depending on how deep the filling needs to go. Then, your dentist will drill your tooth to remove any decay, leaving a clean surface for the filling to fit into. After this, the filling will be added and shaped. You will be asked to rinse your mouth, and then you will be free to go home. A filling appointment is usually very quick.

How can I take care of a filling?

After you’ve had your filling, you should stick to cold foods only if you’ve had an anaesthetic, as you may not be able to tell whether the food is too hot for you to eat. You should also avoid chewy foods, as these could pull the filling out of place.

With regards to cleaning your filling, you will simply be able to continue your current dental routine, ensuring that you brush and use mouthwash twice a day, and floss regularly. It may be tempting to eat on the opposite side of your mouth to your filling, however, you should avoid doing this if possible as you may find that those teeth will be worn down more quickly.

On the whole, if you look after your mouth and take care when eating, your fillings should be perfectly safe and held in place for many years.