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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

When we develop cavities, we typically need dental fillings to repair them. Here, our Victoria dentists discuss the signs that you might need a dental filling and how you can tell.

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are a restorative dental option which can help return your teeth to their original function and appearance.

Why are dental fillings used?

Tooth fillings can fix fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They help restore functionality to your tooth and in some circumstances, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile. 

What are some signs I may need a dental filling?

If you experience any of the following things, you may need a dental filling. Contact your dentist right away to book a dental examination.

  • Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth. 
  • An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked. 
  • You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.
  • You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
  • When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
  • Your tooth is broken or chipped. 
  • Your tooth feels rough to the touch. 

What are dental fillings made of?

Dental fillings can be made of a number of materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you. 

Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance

Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling. 

You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.

Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel

Composite fillings blend well with the surrounding teeth as they are designed to the same color of your natural teeth.

They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.

Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.

Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole. Each layer is then hardened with a curing light.

Gold Fillings for Durability 

For gold fillings, a cast model is made of your tooth. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.

It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.

Contact our Victoria dentists to request a dental filling appointment.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Victoria? We're happily welcoming new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

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