What are Fillings Made From, and When Are They Required?
If you’ve ever been to the dentist and had a filling, you’re not alone. Most people need a filling at one time or another, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But what exactly is a filling, and when do you need one?
What are fillings?
In very simple terms, fillings are used to repair holes in teeth. These holes are known as cavities, and most adults will experience them at some stage of life. Of course, you can significantly limit the instances of cavities by brushing regularly, eating well and maintaining good oral health. Fillings are great for repairing tooth decay, but they can also be used to repair teeth that have been damaged in some other way. There are many different types of fillings that you can choose, and they’re listed below:
For those who are a little more self-conscious, composite resin fillings are available. These can be colour-matched more closely to your teeth’s natural colour, which is why many people prefer them. They are more expensive, and they may not be suitable for the back teeth that do the bulk of your chewing.
You can also match glass-ionomer fillings to your natural tooth colour, but these fillings usually aren’t as strong as other types. As a result, they are best used in baby teeth or in parts of the amount that don’t experience a lot of biting pressure.
These are more expensive than amalgam but longer lasting. Gold fillings are certainly strong, however, the colour is quite obvious and stands out. Not everybody enjoys this image; nor do a lot of people enjoy the cost.
Porcelain fillings are also more expensive, much like gold ones. However, the benefit is they are very long-lasting, and they can also be matched to the colour of your teeth.
Ultimately, the type of filling you end up with should be decided in consultation with your dentist. They will recommend the best solution for your cavities, specifically the types of fillings that will last the longest, according to your budget.
Causes of tooth decay
There are plenty of things that cause tooth decay, but ultimately it comes down to a poor diet and not taking care of your teeth through brushing and regular check-ups. Let’s take a look at the leading causes of tooth decay and cavities.
One leading cause of tooth decay and cavities is diet. Sugary foods and drinks, as well as alcohol, can damage tooth enamel, leaving your teeth unprotected. In addition, these types of foods and drinks cause plaque to build up. When the sugar mixes with the acids in plaque, it can lead to a range of dental issues that may require much more serious treatment than a few fillings.
Not brushing regularly
As long as you maintain a healthy diet and brush your teeth twice a day, you should be able to avoid a lot of damage to your teeth. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen tooth enamel, in effect giving you a protective layer on your teeth for a small amount of time. In addition, it helps to remove food particles, bacteria and other nasties in the mouth that can cause cavities.
While most people know that smoking is bad for them in many ways, one forgotten aspect is often dental health. The major problem with smoking from an oral health point of view is that it inhibits the production of saliva. Saliva is used essentially to clean your teeth throughout the day, so when not enough is produced, plaque can form more easily, and this leads to cavities.
Signs you may need a filling
Fillings are used to fill holes in your teeth, known as cavities. When cavities form, you’re likely to know about it because you’ll experience toothaches. Some toothaches can be mild, however, and the real sign comes when you try to eat or drink something too hot or cold. When the cold or hot substance hits the hole in your teeth, it can cause an extremely sharp and painful sensation.
Another sign is bad breath, which can also be a symptom of other issues such as abscesses, gingivitis or tooth decay. If you brush regularly and still experience bad breath, there’s likely to be a problem your dentist needs to investigate. You might even notice a bad taste in your mouth that you can’t explain.
The vast majority of cavities form on the parts of your teeth used for chewing, which is why you often notice the pain more when eating. This makes it difficult to see the cavities visually, but your dentist can identify them quickly. In addition, black or brown spots on the teeth may indicate a need for fillings, but again, if you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible before the situation gets worse.
In need of fillings? Your Parramatta dentist can help
Here at Parramatta Dental Avenue, we specialise in all aspects of family dental care. Tooth decay and cavities are some of the most common dental issues we deal with, and most people will need a filling or two throughout their life. So, if you’re experiencing pain when eating hot or cold foods, it’s a good sign that you need a dental check-up. Come and visit your local Parramatta dentist today, and we’ll be happy to help you maintain excellent oral health at any stage of life. Contact us to make a booking.