What are Dental Fillings?
If your dentist finds a cavity or tooth damage like a crack or fracture ,they may recommend a filling. Fillings can be made from a number of materials and your dentist can help you decide what option is right for you.
When you get a filling, your dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material and clean the affected area. Then they will fill the cleaned out cavity with the filling material.
Fillings help repair teeth and prevent dental decay and damaging from worsening.
Fillings are indicated when tooth health has declined and the teeth can no longer predictably repair themselves via conservative preventative measures such as fluoride. Fillings are a preventative service which helps limit the chance of tooth infection and pain.
Types of Dental Fillings
Fillings can be made out of several different materials, each with its own benefits. Composite (white) and amalgam (silver) fillings are the most common types used.
White composite fillings can be closely matched to the colour of the existing teeth. For this reason, your dentist might recommend a composite if the affected tooth can be seen when you open your mouth to talk or smile.
Silver amalgam fillings don't blend in as well as white ones, but they are very strong and may be less likely to break. For this reason, an amalgam filling may be recommended for a tooth that experiences a lot of force when you chew.
Inlays & Onlays
Unlike regular dental fillings, dental inlays and onlay are constructed outside of the mouth as a single, solid piece, and then used to fill a cavity.
Inlays and onlays are also used for different purposes than regular fillings. They are designed to repair molars or premolars, in cases when the tooth is too damaged to support a standard dental filling, but not damaged enough to warrant a crown.
Inlays are used to repair decay in the pits and fissures of a tooth, between the cusps. Onlays, on the other hand, will cover one or more cusps as well.