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!