Restorations: White Fillings

White Fillings

What is a cavity and why did you get one?

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, refer to holes that develop in your teeth due to decay. You may be able to identify a cavity as the area surrounding the hole often appears dark brown or grey. Bacteria in your mouth, found in plaque, are mainly responsible for causing cavities. These bacteria interact with the carbohydrates and sugars in your food, leading to the formation of an acidic environment that eats away at the protective enamel on the outer layer of your tooth. Once the enamel is eroded, the softer dentin layer is exposed, which ultimately leads to the formation of a cavity. At this point, the decay process rapidly accelerates and spreads deeper into the tooth.

Why do I need a filling?

A filling is necessary to treat a cavity because if left untreated, the decay can spread and enter the nerve canal, which can be quite painful and lead to more serious problems like infection or abscess. A filling may also be needed to replace or repair an old, worn-down filling or fix a chipped tooth. Delaying treatment for a cavity can result in potential pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss, and may require a more complex procedure such as a root canal, which can be more costly. It is important to address cavities promptly to avoid these potential complications and expenses.

Composite Fillings (Tooth Colour Fillings)

When it comes to matching your tooth color, composite is the preferred filling material. Composites are made up of plastic and glass particles and have become the most popular filling material because they can match the color of your existing teeth and form a strong bond with the tooth.

The process for filling a tooth with composite begins with the removal of the decay from the tooth, followed by the application of a cleansing gel and bonding solution. The composite filling material is then applied and hardened using a high-intensity blue light, a process that only takes a few seconds. After the filling has hardened, it is checked for proper shape and appearance, with any necessary adjustments made to complete the filling process.

It is important to note that delaying the filling of a cavity can lead to potential pain, discomfort, and possible tooth loss, as well as the need for more extensive and costly procedures like a root canal. Therefore, it is recommended that you get your cavity filled as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your tooth.

New Composite Filling Expectations

It is common to experience discomfort after a filling procedure, particularly at the site of the anaesthetic or the tooth itself. Over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil containing ibuprofen can help alleviate this discomfort as recommended by your dentist. However, if the discomfort persists, it is advised to visit your dentist, as the decay may be deep and close to the nerve, resulting in an infection. Despite placing a filling, the tooth may still require root canal therapy to relieve the discomfort. Additionally, composite fillings may change colour over time and may chip away from the tooth.


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