How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

Are you experiencing a cavity? If so, don't worry! A dental filling is the solution to restore your tooth. There are various types of fillings available that can effectively do the job. In this article, our dentists at Kelowna will explain the reasons for needing a tooth filling and provide an overview of different filling options to consider.

What are dental fillings?

Restorations are utilized to fix teeth that have been damaged or decayed, helping to relieve any tooth pain you might be feeling while also restoring the tooth's structure, function, and appearance. 

Why are dental fillings used?

Tooth fillings are effective for repairing fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They not only restore the functionality of your tooth but can also enhance the appearance of your smile in certain cases. 

What are some signs I may need a dental filling?

To determine if you require a tooth filling, it is advisable to consult a dentist. However, there are indications that suggest you might have a cavity and require a filling. If you encounter any of the following signs, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your dentist:

  1. You experience sharp or throbbing tooth pain.
  2. You notice a hole or dark spot when inspecting your teeth.
  3. Your tooth is cracked or chipped.
  4. Your tooth feels rough when touched.
  5. Food frequently gets stuck between specific teeth.
  6. An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked.
  7. You have lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.

What are dental fillings made of?

Choosing the right dental filling material can be overwhelming with options like amalgam, composite, porcelain, and gold. Each material is safe and durable, but they also have their own pros and cons for cavity repair. Our dentists are here to guide you in making the best dental decision for your needs. 

Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance

Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, are tooth-colored dental restorations that are made with a combination of metal. They are strong and durable, but they can be brittle. These fillings are custom-made in a dental laboratory and then sent to your dentist to be placed in your mouth. They are commonly used on molars because they are longer-lasting and more durable than regular dental fillings.

To get a porcelain filling, you will typically need to visit your dentist twice for the placement process. 

Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel

Composite fillings are similar in color to natural teeth, so they blend in well with the surrounding teeth, giving a natural look. This makes them a popular choice for patients who are worried about the appearance of gray amalgam fillings when they smile. 

Dentists prefer composite fillings because they are easy to shape and attach to a tooth. They also bond naturally, reducing the need to remove a significant amount of enamel when preparing the tooth.

During the procedure, your dentist will remove decay from the tooth and apply bonding material to the cavity. Then, composite resin is layered into the cavity. A curing light is used to harden each layer.

Once the final layer of resin has hardened, the filling is carefully shaped to match the shape of your natural teeth.

Gold Fillings for Durability 

Cast gold fillings are crafted by using a replica of your tooth. They are made by combining gold with other substances like copper and silver. These fillings are created in a dental laboratory and later delivered to your dentist. Once received, they are securely attached to your tooth. While cast gold fillings are highly resilient and can last for over 20 years, they are also quite expensive.

Additionally, you will need to visit the dentist at least twice to have them installed.

To learn more about which dental fillings are available at Dr. Steve Johnson Dental Group to schedule an appointment, contact our Kelowna dentists today.

Welcoming New Patients

Our Kelowna dentists are always happy to accept new patients in the Okanagan Valley. 

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