When your tooth shows signs of decay, your dentist can help to stop it before any further damage is caused. Fillings are applied to small and developing cavities to restore your tooth back to its normal shape and prevent any further decay.
Spot decay before it gets serious.
When you visit for a check-up, your dentist will use a small inspection mirror to assess the surface of your teeth, looking for signs of decay or little cracks and fissures. They will let you know as soon as they see anything that might require treatment, and a small filling is a lasting preventative solution that far outweighs a root canal treatment, which can be the result of extensive decay. By closing the gap, your dentist is preventing bacteria from getting in and preserving your tooth in the least invasive way.
The process is straightforward and often only requiring one or two appointments with the team. Once your dentist has assessed the area that requires treatment, they will clear out any decay before filling the clean cavity with a material of your choice.
What kind of fillings are available?
There are several different materials that can be used to fill a hole in your tooth. Indirect fillings are those that require a couple of visits to Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry as the tooth is treated with a tailormade filling that must be crafted to your needs in a dental laboratory before fitting. Direct fillings are those that can be applied in one sitting, or chairside. White- or tooth-coloured options prove to be the most popular of these options as they remain the quickest and most natural-looking of the options – no one can tell that you’ve had a filling.
- Gold fillings. Gold is known for its low reactivity, meaning it is a safe substance to leave in your mouth for years. Gold fillings are also long-lasting and could stay in place well for over 20 years. However, gold fillings are also ‘indirect’, so they require manufacture in a dental laboratory and then applying to your teeth, making this one of the longer processes.
- Porcelain fillings. Porcelain fillings are referred to as on lays or inlays and are custom-made and then fitted to your teeth. They boast a similar durability to that of gold fillings but look more natural.
- Silver (amalgam) fillings.Silver fillings are also durable, but due to their noticeable colour are mostly used for treating the back teeth.
- Composite resin fillings. Composite resin is a kind of plastic that will match your natural tooth colour, making a filling less visible. The resin mixture can be poured straight into the cavity, making it a relatively quick treatment, if a little less durable than gold or silver.
Should you require a filling, your dentist will discuss with you the different options available and best advice on the most suitable for you and your teeth.