Fillings are needed to fix holes in teeth caused by tooth decay or breakages. There are multiple different filling material available which have various properties. The traditional silver amalgam materials have been used for almost 150 years but new materials such as composite filling material which is tooth coloured and can bond to a tooth have become much more popular in recent years.

FAQs

Fillings are most commonly needed due to tooth decay. Dentist can see decay in the mouth during an exam or on an X-ray. If it is not removed it can get bigger and eventually cause pain or breakage of the tooth. The sooner decay is removed the better as it can increase in size very quickly. Fillings are also needed when a tooth fractures or when old fillings need replaced.

Amalgam (Silver fillings)- This materials has been used for over 150 years and has shown to work very well over a long period of time. It is quick to place and generally cheaper than other tooth coloured filling materials. The main disadvantages of amalgam are that it is metallic in appearance and cannot be bonded to natural tooth. This means that it is more visible in the mouth and not as kind to the remaining tooth as other filling materials.

Composite ( White fillings)- Composite is a tooth coloured filling material that comes in a wide variety of shades allowing the material to blend seamlessly into the natural tooth. White material can be bonded to your natural tooth which makes it kinder to the remaining tooth and allows it to be placed in many different scenarios.

Ceramic– Ceramic fillings are excellent for larger cavities where white fillings materials are not ideal. They are constructed in a laboratory so are more expensive than white filling material. They look incredibly natural, very strong and are bonded in place similar to white filling material. The most commonly used ceramic material is Emax which is a particularly brand of ceramic which has excellent aesthetics.

Gold– Gold can be used in similar scenarios as ceramic fillings. It is an excellent dental material but has gone out of fashion as patients generally request tooth coloured materials. It is very durable and can last a long time if it is looked after.

Glass Ionomer– Is tooth coloured like composite but is not as natural in appearance. Is used every commonly as a temporary filling material but can be used permanently in certain scenarios.

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