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Fillings are amongst one of the most common dental procedures carried out. If you have reached adulthood or beyond without needing a filling, then you have done very well. As it is perceived that children become unhealthier and standards of diets are slipping, more children and getting tooth decay at a younger age and we are seeing a greater need in the amount of young people needing fillings.
Many of us know what fillings are and have certainly heard of them, but are unaware of what actual purpose they serve. A dentist will perform a filling to attempt to repair a damaged tooth that has been affected by decay. When you experience a filling, all the decay is removed first to ensure the area is clean and bacteria free. The area is then ‘filled’ with a substance which seals and protects it thus completing the job. It is necessary to fill the area because once the space is sealed, bacteria and further decay are prevented.
As technology and science have developed, the amount and range of fillings have changed and increased also. Now there are many types available to suit different budgets, purposes and even aesthetic requirements. Some of the main and most common ones include:
* Amalgam fillings – These are popular because they are normally very durable and are fairly inexpensive. However due to their dark colour, they are not the best aesthetic option, therefore (for front teeth for example) many people would avoid this variety.
* Composite fillings – These are becoming increasingly in demand because they are white in colour and blend in well with the other teeth. These are the best for aesthetic purposes but one downside is they can be not as durable as other fillings meaning they could wear out more quickly. Composite fillings can often stain more easily so this needs to be considered. Most composite fillings last between 5 and 10 years depending in their usage and whether they are placed in a high ‘trafficked’ area.
*Gold fillings – These are considered as some of the best fillings because they last a very long time (around 20 years in some cases.) Gold fillings are normally made specifically in a laboratory and then bonded into place. The disadvantages are that several visits can be required, and as the mention of gold suggests, they can be a very expensive option.
These are among some of the common types but of course, others are available.
Fillings are only suitable for certain (although most) types of damage and decay. If you have particularly serious problems then other treatments may be more appropriate such as a cap or crown. Root canal treatment may also be required in some cases.
Only a dentist can know whether you need a filling by carrying out an examination, which is why regular checks are important. As with most things dental related, the earlier it is spotted the earlier it can be dealt with, and this reduced the likelihood of complicated and painful treatment.
Hopefully our article has provided you with a greater detail and understanding around fillings, but if you still require further information then please contact us