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Fillings & Crowns

Fillings repair holes in teeth whilst crowns are caps which fit over to strengthen and protect them.

Crowns are tooth-shaped caps which fit over the top of your teeth.

Why are dental crowns used?

Teeth with large fillings (and/or root fillings) are weak and can break when you bite. They can have hidden cracks which make them tender to bite on or sensitive to hot or cold. Heaving clenching or grinding can also weaken teeth even if there are no fillings present. A dental crown will protect a tooth that has been heavily filled or is under pressure from clenching or grinding. Crowns can also be used cosmetically to improve the appearance of your teeth. Your Hamilton dentist can tell you which of your teeth would best be protected by crowns before other dental problems develop.

What are dental crowns made of?

Usually porcelain because the colour can be matched to your existing teeth. The porcelain ‘tooth’ may have a gold or other metal core for strength. If a natural appearance is not essential (for example, at the back of your mouth), a gold or other metal crown may be used.

How are dental crowns fitted?

Hamilton Dental reduces the size of the existing filling and tooth to make room for the new crown, removing any cracks or decay to ensure the tooth's integrity. We can then scan the prepared tooth directly and create the crown or bridge on the same day using our CEREC technology. If a case is very technical we may take a mould to send to a dental technician to give our dentist more time to create your casework. Your Hamilton dentist will fit a temporary crown to cover your tooth until the permanent crown or bridgework is ready. Once the permanent crown is ready, we check the fit and appearance before cementing it in place.

Why are tooth fillings used?

Fillings are used to fill in the space left once the dentist removes the decayed area around the tooth. The filling material, once set, restores the tooth structure which would otherwise be vulnerable to cracking, breaking and further decay.

How do I know if I need a filling?

Your dentist is the only one who will be able to tell you if you need a filling. There are a few telltale signs, however, that may suggest an appointment and filling is necessary. You may start feeling sensitivity to hot or cold drinks or especially sugary drinks. You may experience toothache or tooth pain. You may even see darker spots on your tooth when you look in the mirror. If you start experiencing any of these symptoms it’s always best to seek professional advice.

What are fillings made of?

There are a number of different types of fillings made out of a range of materials. In earlier times, the most common type of filling were amalgam fillings because of their strength and cost-effectiveness. In more recent times, however, tooth coloured composite fillings are much more popular because of the way they blend naturally in the mouth and can be smaller too. Another option is gold fillings which are strong, don’t corrode and have an aesthetic appeal to some. These, unsurprisingly, come at a bit more of a premium.

How long do tooth fillings last?

The lifespan of a filling will depend on a few factors including an individual's personal hygiene and eating habits as well as the type of filling itself. As an indicative guide, fillings made of composite materials will usually last at least 5 years while amalgam and gold fillings can typically last between 10-15 years.

How much do fillings cost?

The cost of a filling will often depend on the size, placing (front teeth or molars) and type of filling prefered/required. Amalgam fillings are typically the cheapest, followed by composite with gold being easily the most expensive. Your dentist will be able to provide you with a specific quote before the procedure takes place.