Dental fillings are one of the most common procedures carried out by dentists. Fillings are used to treat the following:
- Mild Tooth decay.
- A small Fracture or minor damage to tooth.
- You may want to replace an amalgam filling (black metal) with a composite resin (tooth coloured) for cosmetic reasons.
Enamel (tooth’s outer surface) loss is a common component of tooth decay which often results in tooth sensitivity as the underlying dentin layer is exposed. Dentin is the sensitive part of the tooth and by undergoing a filling it is covered and hence the sensitivity is reduced or eliminated.
There are 2 types of Dental fillings you can decide from:
- Amalgam: They are made from a mix of different metals and are very visible. They typically last about 12 years and at one time they were the only option.
- Composite Resin fillings: Tooth coloured plastic filling which are aesthetically pleasing, strong and durable and typically last 7 years.
The procedure: Fillings:
- The dentist isolates the tooth which needs treating and using a drill, micro air abrasion or dental laser removes the area of decay. This is done under a local anaesthetic.
- The cavity (hole that is left) is then roughened up to help the resin form a stronger bond.
- The cavity is then sealed up with either an amalgam or composite resin filling.
- In the case of the composite resin filling it is applied layer by layer and hardened using a very bright light.
- The filling is then polished down to ensure your bite remains correct.
- Dental fillings are done in a single visit.
Factors affecting the cost: Fillings:
- More experienced dentists will normally charge more.
- Costs vary from clinic to clinic depending on the location.
- Type of material used: Composite resin is more expensive than Amalgam.
- Back teeth are more difficult to treat then front teeth and so tend to be more expensive.
‘This information is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute for medical information from your own doctor’