Dental Fillings

Why Do I Need Dental Fillings?

  • Dental fillings protect the remaining healthy tooth structures by removing the bacteria and sealing the cavities created by bacterias.

  • Ignoring the progress of dental caries may eventually cause you to lose your tooth. The process of restoring the missing tooth takes much longer and is more complicated than a teeth filling. This can be avoided by getting a filling at the first visible sign of a cavity.

  • Dental filling can be used to repair a fractured tooth too. Normal shape and function such as chewing, biting and speaking can be restored by placing the fillings on a fractured side.

Type of Dental Filling Materials

  • Amalgam fillings are known as silver fillings or metal fillings. It is often used for the back teeth because of its metal appearance. Some people may have concerns about the toxicity of mercury content. However, there is no clinical or scientific evidence of mercury poisoning in people who have amalgam fillings.

  • Composite fillings are known as tooth-colored fillings. Aesthetic wise, it will be your first choice as the color of composite dental fillings looks like the real enamel, it can even resemble your teeth's exact shades. Less drilling is needed during tooth preparation compared to amalgam, where also indicates that more tooth structures are preserved. It can be used on either front or back teeth.

  • Glass ionomer fillings are also tooth colored, but they have less resistance to abrasion and wear, compared to composite fillings. The main advantage of glass ionomer filling material is it's ability to release fluoride over time, making the outer surface more resistant to acid attacks. Fluoride released is also effective in reducing cavities and tooth decay. It is often used on the areas where stress is not concentrated on.

  • Gold or porcelains inlays and onlays are indirect fillings, where they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. They are considered where there is not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown. Both Gold and Porcelain are high durability and high compressive strength where they can withstand chewing forces and biting forces.

What are Dental Caries? How did it happen?

  • Dental Caries or cavities, which also known as tooth decay, are casued by a breakdown of the tooth enamel (the outermost layer of the tooth). It is a result of bacteria on teeth that breakdown food and produce acid that dissolves the tooth enamel, creating damage underneath the tooth surfaces.

  • As acids continue to erode the teeth, the caries progress and erodes through the damaged enamel, eventually the acid can seep through into the softer damaged dentine which is the second layer of the tooth.

  • As the dentin and enamel breakdown, a visible cavity is created. If not properly treated, the decay in the dentin will continue to worsen and will eventually get into the centre of the tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are located at, and thus can lead to serious pain.