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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

If you have a cavity, you will likely need a dental filling to restore your tooth. Different types of fillings can get the job done. In this post, our Ottawa dentists explain why you'd need a tooth filling, and describe different types of fillings to consider. 

What are dental fillings?

These restorations are employed to fix a tooth that has been broken or decayed, restoring its structure, functionality, and appearance while also reducing any discomfort you may be feeling in your tooth.

Why are dental fillings used?

Tooth fillings can be used to repair fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They help restore functionality to your tooth and, in some cases, can be used to improve the appearance of your smile.

What are some signs I may need a dental filling?

While you should consult a dentist to determine whether you require a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that requires a tooth filling. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  1. Your feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
  2. When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
  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've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.

What are dental fillings made of?

Dental fillings are available in a variety of materials, including amalgam, composite, porcelain, and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also have their own set of benefits and drawbacks when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Our dentists offer guidance on how to make the best dental decision for you.

Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance

Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are brittle, hard, and created in conjunction with metal. These sturdy, tooth-coloured dental restorations, which are created in a dental lab and then delivered back to your dentist for placement, are frequently used on molars because they are more long-lasting and durable than a typical dental filling.

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

Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel

Because they are very similar in colour to natural teeth, composite fillings tend to blend in well with the surrounding teeth.

They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.

Composites are popular among dentists because they are simple to apply to a tooth and can bond to it naturally. This means that when shaping the tooth, your dentist won't need to remove as much of the existing enamel.

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 Fillings for Durability 

Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. 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.

Then, inside of your mouth, it will be fixed in position. This kind of filling is the most expensive even though it is thought to be the most long-lasting (lasting typically 20 years or more). A minimum of two dental appointments will also be necessary for placement.

To learn more about which dental fillings are available at Rideau Dental Centre to schedule an appointment, contact our Ottawa dentists today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Ottawa? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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