What Is A Tooth Filling?
Tooth fillings are used to restore, rebuild, and protect teeth.
Teeth can break down over time. This may be caused by: decay, acid erosive damage, cracks, fractures, or even wear and tear over time. All of these things cause the teeth to become weaker, shorter, flatter, or develop holes. The teeth may become sensitive, painful or less efficient to chew with.
Sometimes teeth may have issues yet remain completely asymptomatic – so you don’t feel anything, and don’t notice any symptoms. But without treatment, underlying issues will progress and eventually cause larger issues. This means larger, and more extensive dental treatment. It is always best to see a dentist on a regular basis so any dental fillings that are needed can be done at an early stage so it’s quick and easy for you.
Tooth fillings rebuild lost tooth structure so the tooth can look and feel at its best again. Tooth fillings come in many different configurations and are sometimes referred to as: white fillings, tooth restorations, caps, bonding, edge bonding, composite bonding, or composite resins.
Types Of Tooth Fillings And What They Are Made Of?
There are several different materials that may be used for tooth fillings. At Iconic Dentistry, we only use tooth-coloured materials. These include composite resin and ceramic.
White Fillings – Composite Resin
Composite Resins are a tooth-coloured filling material. They are essentially a blend of quartz (or glass) within a synthetic resin matrix. There are many many different types of composite resin materials, and your dentist will select the best material for your tooth. Placing Composite Resin white fillings is an art form. Typically, your Iconic Dentist would develop the fillings in multiple layers – each with different shades, translucencies and optical properties. The end result is a filling that looks and feels just like a natural tooth. Composite resin fillings are extremely versatile and may be used to restore decay, build up worn teeth, or even used for cosmetic enhancement of your smile.
Ceramic or Porcelain Fillings
For larger fillings, or where the tooth has high functional chewing forces, we may recommend ceramic or porcelain fillings to be used. Ceramic fillings are much stronger than composite resin fillings and can be used to improve the structural integrity of the tooth. These look and feel just like your natural tooth and are typically able to sustain the same workload as a normal tooth.
Traditionally, ceramic fillings are a complex procedure that requires multiple visits. However, at Iconic Dentistry our technology allows us to create beautiful ceramic fillings in a single visit. Ceramic fillings are made of the same material as dental crowns and veneers.
Metal Fillings – Amalgam
Amalgam fillings are silver- or metal-coloured fillings. They are typically a mix of mercury, tin, copper, and silver. Amalgams have a long clinical history and have been used in dentistry since the 1800s.
This material is not used in our clinic as we feel there are better alternatives. In fact, the last amalgam filling to be placed by Iconic Dentistry was in 1989 – over 30 years ago.
Fillings can be made of gold. Gold is a great filling material with a long clinical history of success. To this day, it is one of the longest lasting materials available for fillings in the back teeth. Biologically they are amongst the best of materials available. Aesthetically, gold fillings are yellow gold and this may not suit many people. Gold fillings also require multiple dental visits and are associated with a higher financial cost. Gold fillings are available at Iconic Dentistry for those who want it.
Sometimes a tooth may have a complex circumstance. It may be involved in a complicated treatment plan, or it may require additional assessment over time. In these cases, a temporary filling may be used. Temporary fillings are generally softer materials that are designed to be removed relatively easily when required. These are usually made of a plastic material, resin, or zinc sulphate.
Do’s and Don’ts After Getting A Tooth Filling
Can I chew on a tooth after getting a filling?
After getting a tooth filling you will generally leave the clinic feeling a bit numb. This numbness may last for a few hours afterwards. It is important that you are careful not to bite yourself whilst numb – this is very easy to do. For this reason, we advise that you don’t eat whilst numb.
Can I have hot drinks after getting a tooth filling?
It is important to stay away from hot drinks for a few hours after your tooth filling. While your tooth is numb, you might not sense the hot temperature and may burn yourself.
How long after a white filling can I eat?
If your filling is on the chewing surface of your tooth, it is likely that your bite will feel a bit different. Please eat slowly and chew softer than usual for the first few days while you get used to your new filling. Sometimes your bite may need to balance out and this can take a few weeks. Your dentist will advise you if there are any significant changes to your bite and what you can expect.
How long should a tooth hurt after a filling?
Often your gums may feel a bit delicate around the tooth or teeth that received treatment. Your gums will return to normal and you shouldn’t feel any pain within a few days.
Looking for a tooth filling in Perth?
Book into our South Perth clinic, located in Meadowvale Shopping Centre to get a tooth filling that looks as good as new. You can take a look at our white fillings before and after images to see the exceptional work of the tooth filling dentists at our Perth location.
At Iconic Dentistry, we offer all kinds of general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry services, including crowns, tooth replacements and wisdom teeth removal. If you have had treatment by Iconic Dentistry and have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.