Composite Resin fillingsVisually pleasing and made to match with your natural dental aesthetics, composite resin fillings are a mixture of plastic and glass compounds that mimic the colours of a natural tooth.
- Ideal for placement in front teeth and as small fillings.
- Lower cost and less treatment time in chair than porcelain or ceramics.
- Shorter lifespan than porcelain and ceramic fillings
Glass Ionomer fillingsWith little to no drilling or preparation needed for placement, glass ionomers are fillings that are perfectly suited for babies and children, and for fillings around the gum line. Minimal drilling or preparation required. Great for gum line fillings and moist areas in the mouth. Suitable for babies and children. Composed from a combination of acrylic acids and fine glass, glass ionomer fillings are relatively weak when compared to other filling materials – so they are not suitable for biting surfaces. Glass ionomers do not generally match the translucency of natural teeth as well as porcelain, ceramics, or composites, however they are valued for their ability to release chemical compounds into the nearby area, such as cavity-fighting fluoride.
Amalgam FillingsAmalgam (also known as silver) and gold fillings have been relied upon for generations, but with the development of filling techniques that match the colour of your teeth, they have seen a downturn in popularity. Amalgam fillings are still very useful for areas of the mouth where biting pressure is higher and the fillings are not very visible, such as the molars.
Reasons for Needing a Filling
The most common reason for needing a filling is tooth decay. Fillings are needed when the decay has reached the dentine layer of your tooth (second layer), often causing symptoms of pain and sensitivity. Dental decay can occur on any tooth surface, however, most commonly occurs on the top of your teeth or in between teeth, generally as a result from inadequate cleaning and poor diet.
Fillings may also be needed on teeth that have been worn down. This is often caused by over brushing, grinding teeth, or erosion (from either too much acid in your diet or gastric reflux). The filling acts as a protective barrier from decay and plaque, reducing any sensitivity that may be experienced.
Reasons for failed fillings can include fracturing, either by the filling or tooth itself, excessive wear, dental caries around the margin of the filling, or leaking fillings, where debris and saliva seep down between the tooth and filling.
A simple filling can be used to restore a chipped or broken tooth to its natural look and use. Discoloured areas on teeth can be covered by fillings, improving their appearance.