Fillings repair holes in your teeth. If you are experiencing toothache, you might need a filling.
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 preferred/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.