A filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. usually caused by tooth decay. It is a simple treatment which can be completed during a short appointment, and they can be performed with or without local anaesthetic. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth is removed and then filled with one of three materials:
- Amalgam – This is a silver-coloured material made form a mixture of metals including silver, tin, mercury, and copper (As of 1st July 2018, this material will no longer be used for children under 15 and pregnant or breastfeeding women).
- Composite – A tooth-coloured white material made from a glass and resin mixture which boasts a strong bond to tooth structure.
- Glass Ionomer – A tooth-coloured white material made from powdered glass which bonds chemically with the original tooth
Due to their natural appearance and strength, white composite fillings are becoming an increasingly popular choice with patients, as they are able to be colour matched, making them indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Moreover, less removal of the tooth is required for the resin composite placement.
Your dentist can help you decide which material is most suitable depending on your health, your preferences and the type of cavity that needs to be repaired.