Reasons for Getting Dental Fillings
Cavities cause tooth structure to deteriorate.
When decay forms in a tooth, it affects the inner structure of the tooth, which should not normally be exposed to bacteria. When the inner part of the tooth is injured, it can cause discomfort or pain and infection.
Minor Tooth decay can lead to bigger cavities. And if left untreated, cavities have adverse effects on the tooth’s function. Furthermore, an untreated cavity might develop into a more severe illness and pain. Eventually, the infection may progress to the point where tooth extraction is required.
Restoring tooth function
The dental filling covers the prepared and undamaged part of the tooth. Tooth fillings are helpful because they restore and help maintain the original function of the tooth. By filling in the gaps and naturally reshaping the tooth, you will have the ability to bite and chew with that tooth.
This filling is essential in minimizing the damage and decay that occurs, allowing you to prevent further problems in the future. Normal function is necessary so that you can go about your everyday activities without interruption from dental problems.
Why Choose Ashburton Dental Centre for Dental Fillings?
Faq's About Dental Fillings in Gosnells
Several factors influence the cost of dental fillings, including the type of material used, which can either be composite or amalgam, the position of the tooth, and the number of tooth surfaces that require filling. A basic filling can cost up to $275, and a more complex filling may cost up to $475, according to the 2020 National Dental Charge Survey.
A sample of an average total cost of dental fillings in Western Australia:
White Filling Adhesive on the back tooth (5 surfaces): $304 to $417
White Filling Adhesive on the front tooth (5 surfaces): $293 to $400
Fillings are best suited to minor fractures and decay that do not involve the pulp. While only your professional dentist can tell you for certain if you require a tooth filling, there are some typical indications and symptoms that can warn you of a cavity that may require a dental filling.
Small cavities rarely produce any symptoms. Dental x-rays are required to detect them early. If a minor cavity is not filled in time, it will get more prominent, and symptoms like pain and sensitivity will usually occur.
However, by the time the patient experiences cavity symptoms, the cavity has progressed and may not be restored with just a filling. Hence, regular dental checkups are advised.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist for an examination:
- Tooth Sensitivity. You may experience sharp pain or tooth sensitivity when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, as well as sweet, sticky, or sour foods.
- Toothache. Persistent tooth discomfort or pain that develops for no apparent reason. You may experience pain or discomfort when you bite or chew.
- Tooth holes. When a cavity develops, holes can form on the tooth.
- Dark stains. Cavities produce white patches that become brownish or black over time.
- Food debris. Food particles often seem to get stuck on or between certain teeth when you eat.
- Broken teeth. Your tooth has a chipped or fractured surface, or when you run your tongue over a tooth, it has a rough or jagged feeling.
Teeth have a limited ability to heal, and once dental caries (or decay) penetrates the enamel, you may need to have a dental filling to prevent further damage. Dental crowns can be an alternative to dental fillings. But dental professionals often perform dental fillings before they recommend crowns to patients.
We recommend our patients practise good dental hygiene to avoid having tooth decay and other dental concerns. You can prevent dental decay by:
- Brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean your teeth with dental floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Have a healthy diet. Eat nutritious food and limit snacking.
- Have a regular visit with your dentist for routine checkups and professional cleanings.
Fillings are used to alleviate the pain caused by cavities and to eliminate the risk of serious infection. If it remains untreated, a cavity can reach the pulp of the tooth, producing intense pain.
A dental filling procedure is often a simple treatment. To help you prevent pain, your dentist will apply local anesthesia, which numbs the area being treated but does not put you to sleep. Once your tooth is completely numb, you won’t feel anything while the dentist removes your diseased tooth structure and fills your cavity.
Your dentist will examine your mouth and then use dental instruments to check for cavities. They may perform some tests or take an X-ray of the tooth or teeth to see the severity of tooth decay.
Once there is a confirmation of the extent of the decay, the procedure begins with the use of a local anesthetic to numb the tooth area. This will serve to avoid any discomfort. If the filling is only on the tooth’s surface, you may not need anesthesia.
Then, a dental drill will be used to remove decay from the tooth enamel once your dentist numbs the area.
Next, your dentist will sterilize and prep the area for the filling before filling the hole. A blue wavelength light is used to harden or cure certain types of fillings.
Your dentist will polish your teeth and ensure your bite is correct before completing the procedure.
After the numbing agent wears off, your teeth may feel slightly uncomfortable or sensitive, but you should not be in pain. You should avoid hot or very cold foods and drinks following the procedure, but you can normally eat for the most part.
The risks and disadvantages of dental fillings
If you need a low-cost treatment for tooth decay or a cavity, amalgam fillings are a great option. However, just like other treatments, filling materials have drawbacks that you should know about.
- Tooth discolouration. Amalgam fillings are “silver fillings” that may darken over time. This is why most patients consider them only to be placed at the back of their mouths (or posterior teeth).
- Tooth sensitivity. Many people have reported increased tooth sensitivity after having amalgam fillings. Some scientific data indicates that this is due to the metal’s sensitivity to temperature changes in the mouth.
- Weakens teeth. Another concern with amalgam fillings is that they might weaken the teeth. This is common because a part of the tooth’s tissue must be removed for these fillings to be installed. This suggests that the remaining teeth may be damaged or weaker.
- Teeth may get stained. Amalgam fillings are the only types of fillings that can cause staining around the teeth and will require tooth stain removal to remove the stains.
Your oral hygiene plays a role in how long your filling lasts. Good oral care can extend the life of your fillings and prevent recurrent decay. A filling’s lifespan can also vary based on the materials applied.
Remember that everyone’s teeth and lifestyles are unique. Thus, these lifespans may range from person to person.
- Amalgam fillings last 5 to 25 years.
- Composite fillings last 5 to 15 years.
- Gold fillings last 15 to 20 years.
Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals made up of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper. By weight, dental amalgam contains approximately half (50%) elemental mercury. Elemental mercury’s chemical properties allow it to react with and bind together the silver, copper, tin alloy to form an amalgam.
The mercury in the amalgam produces low amounts of mercury in vapour, which can be breathed and absorbed by the lungs. High amounts of mercury vapour exposure have been linked to having adverse effects on the brain and kidneys. Several studies indicate no health risks associated with amalgam fillings, and the FDA considers them safe for adults and children ages six and older.
Other disadvantages of amalgam fillings may include:
- Lack of aesthetics.
- Loss of more tooth structure.
- Breaks and fractures.
- Reactions to allergies.
Fillings can be made from a variety of materials. Typically, your dentist will advise you about which is best for you. Different types of dental filling materials include:
- Dental amalgam (also known as silver fillings)
It is a metal mixture that includes silver, copper, tin, mercury, and zinc. It is a strong filling material. Although mercury exposure can be harmful, most people can use amalgam safely and effectively. The Australian Dental Association still supports the use of amalgam fillings. They do not recommend using them on pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, or people with kidney disease.
- Composite resin material
Composite resin fillings are tooth-coloured. It is more natural-looking than amalgam and can be matched to the colour of the other teeth, but it is more expensive. Based on particular studies, it may not last as long when used to fill adult back teeth, where there is a lot of pressure.
- Glass-ionomer fillings
Glass-ionomer cement can also resemble the colour of your natural tooth (or teeth), but it may not last as long as composite resin. It is typically used on infants’ teeth and in areas where there is little biting pressure.
- Gold and Porcelain
Gold and porcelain are both long-lasting filling materials. Porcelain fillings can be coloured to blend with the natural colour of the rest of the teeth, but gold is gold. Gold is a type of filling material that is rarely used. These fillings are both more expensive and superior than amalgam fillings.
- Temporary fillings
A dentist may recommend a short-term temporary filling if it is not possible to complete treatment on time. However, it is important for you to come back to your dentist as soon as possible.