A dental filling is a material used artificially to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure. Dental fillings can replace lost tooth structure or damaged tooth to its standard shape and function. A filling is designed to remove tooth decay before it causes tooth infection that could require more expensive and extensive treatment, like root canals. Fillings can also be used to repair broken, cracked teeth, or teeth that have been worn down from grinding.
During the dental filling procedure, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic, remove the cavity from the tooth with a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser to remove a decayed area. Once the affected area is clean, the dentist will fill the cavity with the filling material. Dental fillings can be fabricated out of a variety of materials such as dental amalgam or dental composites. Here are the different types of filling materials available:
Gold: Gold fillings are made in a laboratory from the order and can last for over 20 years. These are considered to be one of the best filling materials but are very expensive to complete.
Amalgam (silver alloys): These affordable fillings are resistant to wear. However, one of the downsides of their dark colour is that they are more notable than other options such as porcelain or composite. They can also cause the teeth to crack over time. These filings are used less these days, as composite resin fillings achieve the same result with better esthetic outcomes.
Composite Resins: This filling is first matched to be the same colour as your teeth and is considered for a more natural appearance. The filling is mixed and placed onto the cavity to harden. Composite may not be suitable for large fillings as they can chip over time. They are also susceptible to coffee and tobacco stains and do not last as long as other fillings. The lifespan of composite resins is 3-10 years.
Porcelain: These fillings are also known as inlays or onlays and require the use of Cerec technology, which Peak Dental Arts has! They can be matched to the colouring of the tooth and they can resist stainings. Porcelain inlays or onlays can be completed on the same day and will last longer than composite resin fillings.
Your dentist will be able to detect where you have a cavity and suggest the best options for the type of filling. At Peak Dental Arts, we strive to provide the best West and North Vancouver dental care possible for our patients. For more information about dental filling or to schedule a consultation, call us to book an appointment.