What are Tooth-Coloured Fillings?
Dental fillings are used as part of the restorative process after a tooth is damaged by decay, trauma or tooth wear. Tooth-coloured fillings are much more frequently used as compared to metal fillings due to the development of newer and stronger filling materials available.
Tooth-coloured fillings are also known as composite fillings and serve to restore the form, function and aesthetics of the tooth. They also help to reduce the risk of further decay and can help in the relief of pain or sensitivity.
What kind of teeth would need a filling?
During your visit with us, we will assess all your teeth via visual, tactile and sometimes radiographic inspection to decide if there is any decay present. Sometimes a decayed tooth may not exhibit symptoms until the progression is moderate or even severe. Hence it is important that we intervene early to protect the teeth.
Teeth can also be broken or chipped from falls or accidents. In such cases, we will do a filling on the missing part of the tooth to reduce sensitivity and restore function.
Excessive brushing coupled with grinding habits can also cause tooth wear especially on the outside surface of the tooth. Patients will often notice gum recession in specific areas along with a “notch” on the tooth surface that is particularly sensitive to cold air or foods. Protecting that surface with a filling will greatly reduce the sensitivity and allow the patient to enjoy foods properly.
How is the procedure carried out?
We will first inform the patient of the pros and cons of the procedure and offer other treatment options if they are suitable for the case. After informed consent is taken, a radiograph (or xray) may need to be taken to check the tooth.
Depending on how deep the filling is, adequate local anaesthesia will be given to the tooth and the surrounding area to provide greater comfort during the procedure. A filling colour that most closely matches the tooth will then be chosen to allow ideal aesthetics to be achieved.
Your dentist will gently remove the decay. The cavity is then filled with the filling material. After the composite has hardened via light-curing, the patient’s bite will be checked and the filling will be polished.
The patient can resume function after the filling is complete but it is recommended to wait until the anaesthesia has worn off before eating.