Fillings and restorations

Dental Fillings and Restorations Crows Nest

Dental Fillings at Dental On Clarke, Crows Nest

Tooth restorations and fillings can be used to replace part of a tooth when it is lost. A restoration or filling might be necessary if a tooth has developed tooth decay, has been chipped in an accident or has been worn away. Your teeth are actually very strong body organs because they contain a high percentage of minerals; mainly calcium and phosphate. As such our teeth are normally quite resilient to most “insults”, but they do still occasionally need to be rebuilt using tooth restorations or fillings. At Dental On Clarke, most of the fillings we place to restore a tooth are white; we’ll choose a shade that matches your existing teeth, so they’ll blend in with their surroundings. Normally fillings are able to be placed using a simple local anaesthetic, and should not leave the recipient with any lasting discomfort.

What causes decay?

Tooth decay happens when plaque bacteria stay in contact with your teeth for a sufficient time, and in the presence of dietary sugars. Fed by the acid in the sugar, those bacteria produce powerful acids which can then dissolve the minerals from the tooth structure. If enough minerals are lost from one part of a tooth, the tooth is weakened, and becomes ‘mushy’ underneath. This is known as tooth decay. A cavity forms when the surface over the tooth decay is lost. Once a cavity has formed a filling is required in order to stop the decay from progressing and destroying more of your tooth’s structure.

What happens when I get a filling?

Prior to placing the filling material, the mushy and damaged tooth structure must be removed, and the area properly cleaned to remove any remaining bacteria. Once this has been completed, the cavity will be filled with special material which stops further bacteria from entering, and mimics the lost tooth structure.

Filling a chipped tooth

If a tooth is chipped, sometimes a tooth filling can be used to improve the appearance and function of the tooth. Teeth become chipped in various ways, such as sporting incidents, cutlery and glassware accidents, repeated trauma from piercings (of the tongue and lip), or clenching and grinding of the teeth (often during sleep). Your dentist can advise you on whether a tooth filling is the best kind of restoration for your situation, or whether a stronger type of restoration (like a tooth crown) might be more beneficial for your tooth.

Fillings for worn-down teeth

Teeth can also be worn away, requiring some kind of tooth filling. Tooth wear can occur if too much acid is present in the mouth from things like wine, fruit juice, vinegar or stomach acid reflux. Teeth can also gradually wear away with tooth grinding, a habit occuring at night while you are asleep. Finally, you might need a tooth filling if you have brushed your teeth too vigorously, producing a crevice in a tooth near the gumline. In this case, a filling can help to keep dental plaque from becoming trapped in that crevice, reduce any sensitivity you might experience and protect your tooth from further wear.

There are a few options when it comes to filling materials; on the most part, Dental On Clarke uses white filling material called composite that is made from a mixture of acrylic resin and glass particles. Composite provides a strong and aesthetically pleasing result. If you think you have a dental cavity or chip, it’s essential that you seek professional help as soon as possible. By addressing the issue and halting the progression of decay, it’s possible to restore your dental health quickly and relatively easily. However, when left unchecked, these issues can turn into much bigger and more costly problems. To request your appointment, don’t delay – contact us today!

FAQs

Yes. The situation of broken teeth is not a myth and can most certainly occur. Your tooth can break due to weakness, decay or an accident. Fortunately, your dentist will be able to fix it if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Teeth can break or get knocked out in contact sports, so it is important to wear a mouthguard if you are participating in anything that poses this kind of risk. You should not use your teeth to open bottles of crack open nuts. Think of your teeth as jewels – not tools!

Don’t panic! Contact your dentist for an emergency appointment and if you still have the tooth or the shard that has broken off, place it in a glass of milk while you wait for your dental appointment.

Yes, it will. Tooth decay not only affects your dental health, but your overall health as well. It can cause sensitivity and pain which can affect your moods and your ability to bite and chew properly (and can inhibit proper digestion). Tooth decay can also lead to abscesses and gum disease and even cause discoloured teeth.

Tooth decay is treated through several different methods. If detected early enough, a simple fluoride tooth decay treatment is all you’ll probably need. If the decay has progressed and cavities have formed, your dentist will repair the tooth by polishing away the decayed part of the tooth and replacing it with a filling or crown. If the nerve of the tooth has been damaged by decay, you might need to undergo a root canal to save the tooth. There are some severe cases where the entire tooth will need to be removed, in which case you can discuss replacement options with your dentist to maintain your full smile.

Yes, they can. Tooth decay can happen at any stage of life. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and diet, eating disorders (such as bulimia), smoking, chronic acid reflux, etc. – all of which can contribute to the decay of a tooth.