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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

When you have a damaged tooth, whether it's a crack or a cavity, you will need to have it repaired. Your dentist may recommend dental fillings to repair these teeth. In this post, our Grande Prairie dentists share some of the different types of dental fillings and how you will be able to tell that you are in need of a filling.

What exactly are dental fillings?

These restorations are used to restore the structure, function and appearance of a tooth that's been damaged or decayed, alleviating tooth pain you may be experiencing.

What are some reasons that you may need dental fillings?

Tooth fillings can fix fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They help restore functionality to your tooth and in some circumstances, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile. 

What are the symptoms that indicate the need for a dental filling?

While you should see a dentist to confirm whether you need a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. If you experience any of these, schedule an appointment with your dentist:

    1. You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
    2. When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
    3. Your tooth is broken or chipped. 
    4. Your tooth feels rough to the touch. 
    5. Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth. 
    6. An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked. 
    7. You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.

    What materials are dental fillings typically made from?

    Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you. 

    Fillings Made of Porcelain

    Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are made in combination with metal to make them strong. These fillings need to be created in a dental lab where they will then send them off to your dentist to be placed on your teeth. These dental restorations are tooth-coloured to help them blend in with your natural teeth. These are most commonly used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than regular dental fillings. 

    Your dentist will require you to have two visits to place your new porcelain fillings.

    Composite Dental Fillings

    Composite fillings are popular due to their ability to blend in with the surrounding teeth.

    While amalgam fillings are the traditional filling type, composite fillings are quickly becoming more popular due to their less obvious appearance.

    Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.

    Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.

    A curing light is used to harden each layer. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.

    Fillings Made of Gold

    In order to have durable gold fillings made, there will need to be a cast of your tooth created in order to make the filling itself. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.

    It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.

    If you would like to learn more about the types of fillings we offer here at Access Dental, contact our Grande Prairie dentists today.

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