Prevention is better than cure when it comes to looking after your teeth and gums. However, should tooth decay (caries) develop our dentist have a range of options to restore oral health.
A dental filling is required when the structure or function of a tooth is damaged. This damage could be the result of trauma or tooth decay, i.e. cavity in the enamel of a tooth.
Why do I need a filling?
A filling is most often required because there is decay in the tooth. In most cases, there are no symptoms. If a cavity is not filled, the decay can potentially spread to the nerve inside the tooth, which then requires root canal therapy. So the sooner, the better.
Other reasons for a filling may be a cracked tooth or worn enamel.
Will my filling be white or metallic?
Usually, the filling will be white and referred to as a Composite Restoration. There are times when your dentist may recommend a metallic filling but if this concerns you, your dentist will be happy to explain their reasoning and help you make an informed decision.
How long will my filling last?
The longevity of a filling is dependent on a variety of factors. For example; the size of the filling, your oral hygiene and the biting force applied to the area. A white composite filling will last approximately 5-10 years.
Will getting a filling be painful?
Most fillings are carried out with local anaesthetics. Once you are numb (local anaesthetic), you should not feel any pain. Usually, the local anaesthetic will last for 3 hours.