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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

When a patient has a cavity, the dentists will want to repair it as soon as possible typically using a dental filling. In this post, our North York dentists talk about the use of dental fillings for cavities, the different types of fillings and how to tell if your tooth needs one.

Dental Fillings For Cavities or Damage

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.

Why would your dentist recommend a dental filling?

If you have dental damage or decay then you will likely need a filling order to repair your tooth and restore its strength. They help restore functionality to your tooth and in some circumstances, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile. 

How can you tell if you are in need of 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 the following then you should contact your dentist right away:

    1. Your tooth is painful and throbbing.
    2. You see a visible hole in your tooth.
    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 already had a filling and you've lost it.

    What are the different types of dental fillings?

    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. 

    Porcelain Dental Fillings

    Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling. 

    You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.

    Composite Fillings

    Composite fillings are a popular choice, especially since they are tooth coloured and blend in well with your natural teeth.

    These are a great choice for those patients that aren't a fan of the appearance of amalgam fillings.

    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.

    Gold Dental Fillings

    In order to create your gold fillings your dentist will need to take cast of your teeth. 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.

    This new gold filling will then be cemented in place. 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 dental filling options that we offer, contact our North York dentists today.

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