Dental fillings are one of the most common procedures done at the dentist, and basically involves replacement of lost tooth structure with another material. The tooth structure being replaced might have been lost through decay, wear, or fractures but ultimately the process is similar in any case. If it has been determined that you need a filling, don’t worry, we will do everything we can to make sure it’s as painless and comfortable as possible. Once we have you comfortable and ready to go, a filling involves 2 basic steps:
- Clean up the area. In the case of decay, this will involve gently removing the decay and disinfecting the area to ensure there is no bacteria or debris left over. In the case of wear, a fracture or a crack, this might also include smoothing over sharp edges, or extending an area to help retain the filling and protect the remaining tooth from breaking again.
- Once everything is cleaned up, we can replace the lost tooth with a filling material. There are several different materials that can be used in different situations, but most commonly we use atooth coloured composite-resin material, which blends into the surrounding tooth structure and is hardly noticeable. Once the material is set (with a blue light) and is hard, it is trimmed and polished to make sure it is comfortable to bite on, feels smooth in your mouth, and looks great.
It is important to note that the mouth is a pretty hostile environment, where there are constant forces, acids, and bacteria all pushing the limits. As such, nothing that we put in will last forever. Good oral hygiene measures, regular check-ups, as well as limiting bad habits like clenching and grinding, will help to extend the life of your new filling.
If you suspect you might need a filling, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (07) 3379 1328