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How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

Dental fillings are an effective and long-lasting way to treat cavities. Here, our Toronto dentists discuss how to tell if you need a dental filling and what you can expect from the process.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are restorations used to fill the space that a cavity once dented into a tooth. There are a few different types of dental fillings that you can get.

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?

Contact your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • You feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
  • Your tooth feels rough to the touch. 
  • Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth. 
  • When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
  • Your tooth is broken or chipped. 

What Are Dental Fillings Made Of?

Dental fillings can be made of several materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their 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

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

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.

A curing light is used to harden each layer. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.

Gold Fillings for Durability 

Cast gold fillings are made using a model 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 Toronto dentists to schedule a dental appointment today.

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