If you have tooth decay or a damaged tooth, then your dentist may recommend a filling. The primary cause for tooth cavities is bacteria on the teeth due to a sugary diet that eventually erodes your enamel. However, tooth decay can also be caused by infrequent or improper teeth brushing, dry mouth, GERD (acid reflux), a lack of fluoride in your toothpaste among many other reasons.
Without prompt treatment, cavities can lead to tooth pain, bad breath, infection, a fractured tooth or complete tooth loss.
While requiring a dental filling may seem daunting, it will give your tooth the best chance of remaining intact. Fillings are a straightforward dental procedure to complete, and will also help eliminate any pain or sensitivity you may be experiencing due to the cavity.
Please rest assured that we will do everything we can to put you at ease, including giving you advice on how to prevent any similar issues, depending on the cause of your cavities.
Dental Fillings Rochdale
One Dental offers a wide range of dental treatments to our NHS and private patients in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. This includes dental fillings as part of our general dentistry services.
Amalgam fillings are the traditional silver coloured fillings used within dentistry. It’s popularity is due to the fact amalgam is incredibly hard wearing, lasting anywhere between 20 and 40 years on average.
Typically, amalgam fillings are used on back teeth. The colour of amalgam is more noticeable than a composite (white) filling. However, composite fillings are not always available on the NHS, unless they are deemed clinically necessary.
Pregnancy may be a contraindication against amalgam fillings, though your dentist will advise you on the best solution.
Composite Dental Fillings
Composite dental fillings are also known as a tooth coloured filling. They allow for the filling to match your natural teeth colour as closely as possible.
In some cases, a composite filling will be performed on the NHS. In other instances, it will be considered a private treatment, especially if the cavity is towards the back of your teeth.
If you have a preference for a composite filling, please speak to us so we can advise you of your options.
Tooth Filling Cap
A tooth cap is also known as a crown. The main difference between a filling and a crown, is that a crown sits on top of the tooth, whereas a filling involves removing the decayed piece of tooth and filling it in.
Placing a crown over a weakened tooth can prevent tooth breakage. Crowns are also used to restore stained or misshapen teeth, or to protect a tooth that has had a root canal. A crown may also be used instead of a filling, if your dentist deems the tooth doesn’t have enough structural integrity to hold a filling.
Dental Temporary Fillings
Temporary fillings are intended to make a tooth stable until your dentist can fit a permanent filling. It is unusual to have a temporary filling, as your dentist would normally complete a permanent filling within your appointment. However, they are most commonly used when you require an urgent filling such as following a trauma to your tooth.
Temporary fillings are only designed to be used on a short term basis. Therefore, we will arrange an appointment to fix your tooth permanently. While you wait for your permanent filling, you will need to be mindful of eating certain food and drinks which we will advise you of after your appointment.
Cavity Filling Teeth Whitening
It’s good to note that a composite filling or crown cannot be whitened the same as a natural tooth. Depending on the location of your filling, the difference in shade may be very noticeable or barely detectable. If having teeth whitening treatment with us we will inform you of the suitability of your teeth based on any existing fillings.
What Happens During A Dental Filling?
Your dentist will first numb the area to make your filling procedure as comfortable as possible. This may involve an injection of local anaesthetic. Next, we’ll remove any decayed or damaged parts of your tooth. The remaining part of the tooth will then be shaped, cleaned and dried so that is ready to accept the filling.
Your cavity will be filled either with a composite or amalgam filling. The final stage is checking if your bite is correct when you put your teeth together.
Once your filling has been completed, you will need to continue looking after your oral health to prevent any future fillings. We may give you some advice relating to diet or brushing techniques to help you do this.
Attending regular dental checkups will also allow us to examine your fillings to make sure they are still intact, alongside inspecting your teeth and gums as a whole.
Signs You May Need A Filling
A hole or dark spot on your tooth
A missing or broken filling
Tooth sensitivity or pain
While the above list is some of the most common signs you may need a filling, it’s by no means exhaustive. In many cases, patients only become aware they need a filling when they have a dental checkup. Therefore, please come and see us if you have any concerns about your teeth, or if it’s been longer than 12 months since you last had a dental checkup.
How Do You Prevent Fillings?
We’re glad you asked! As mentioned, cavities or tooth breakage can mean you may require a filling to protect that tooth. While there are various causes of cavities, the number one reason is due to tooth decay.
Here are some of our top tips to prevent fillings in adults and children:
Brush twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
Floss and use interdental brushes daily
Attend regular dental checkups
Reduce or eliminate sugary foods
Avoid fizzy drinks
Avoid snacking between meals
Avoid eating or drinking after you’ve brushed your teeth at night
See your GP if you have a persistent dry mouth