A restoration or filling is used to replace tooth structure which has been damaged from decay, cracks, trauma or abrasion. The tooth is usually numbed with local anaesthetic prior to cavity preparation, the affected portion of the tooth is then removed and the tooth is washed, dried and a filling is packed into the cavity. It is then shaped and checked that it is comfortable in your bite.
- Amalgam or silver fillings have been used for many years and still have an important role in modern dentistry. Dental amalgam is a safe, cost effective, strong and durable option to consider for posterior teeth.
- Composites fillings are tooth coloured and can be an alternative to amalgam restorations. Being tooth coloured, composite has the advantage that it highly aesthetic and can be used in aesthetics areas such as front teeth. Composites can also be used in posterior teeth as well but do have their limitations and are not always a recommended option.
- Inlays are indirect fillings that are custom made in a laboratory and then subsequently glued into place at a subsequent appointment. An interim restoration is placed between appointments. Inlays were traditionally made out of gold, but more aesthetics alternatives such as porcelain, ceramic or composite material are now available.
- Onlays are similar to inlays, the difference being that onlays are a much more extensive repair that covers the tooth cusps.
- Compared to a normal filling, inlays and onlays can be more costly due to the the high-quality materials and precision fit. They can also be advantageous by increasing the overall strength of the tooth due as they are bonded directly onto the tooth.
Scale and Clean
- Plaque (soft, sticky biofilm of bacteria) can readily accumulate on your teeth after eating and drinking. If it is not removed, it will bath in your saliva and caclify into a build-up of calcium deposits known as tartar (calculus). Tartar harbours the specific bacteria which damages your gums and causes gum disease [hyperlink to gum disease].
- It is essential that your teeth be cleaned professionally twice a year to disturb the plaque and tartar. Your teeth are also polished leaving a clean and smooth surface, making it difficult for bacteria to adhere to your teeth making it easier for you to maintain a healthy clean mouth.