Dental filling is a restoration of the decayed tooth back to its normal function and shape. Filling teeth comprises of removing of the decayed tooth structure, cleaning out the cavity and restoring the teeth with the filling material.
In teeth filling, the dentist closes the spaces where bacteria can enter and it prevents further decay.
There are four types of fillings for teeth:
- Gold fillings
- Does not corrode
- Some people like the gold colour better than the silver colour of amalgam
- Durable enough to withstand chewing forces
- Last longer than all other filling materials
- More than one appointment needed. The dentist Sydney needs to take an impression on the first appointment then place a temporary filling then the gold filling impression is fabricated and will then be cemented on the second appointment if there will be no adjustments needed.
- Possibility of the occurrence of “galvanic shock”, when the tooth with the gold filling is right next to a tooth with amalgam filling.
- Gold fillings are not tooth coloured.
2. Amalgam (silver) fillings
- Can stand up to the forces of mastication
- Affordable than the other alternatives
- Needs one appointment only
- Doesn’t have the same colour or shade as the teeth
- Can cause the tooth to discolour as the restoration can corrode or tarnish
- Requires more tooth reduction to create ledges and undercuts for the amalgam to stick to the tooth
- May have allergic reaction to mercury in the amalgam filling
3. Composite resin fillings
- Can be direct or indirect
- Composite tooth fillings match the colour of the teeth
- Can be completed in one appointment. But inlay composite fillings may require another appointment.
- Can be bonded directly to the tooth thus makes the tooth stronger than it will be with an amalgam filling.
- Less reduction of tooth structure because there is no need for undercuts or ledges
- Indirect composite fillings are heat-cured and this increases the strength of the dental filling
- Can be used with glass ionomer as base or liner to maximise both materials
- More expensive than amalgam fillings
- Not as durable as amalgam fillings
- Possible shrinkage of the composite may produce microporosities between the tooth and the restoration that can lead to recurrent caries. Shrinkage is reduced when the dentist places composite filling in thin layers.
- Takes more time to place because of the increments placed.
- Indirect fillings and inlays take at least two appointments to complete the procedure.
4. Porcelain fillings
- Produced in a dental laboratory then bonded to the tooth
- Less affected by staining and abrasion compared to composite resin fillings
- Ceramics are more breakable than composite resin fillings
- More tooth structure reduction needed for a ceramic inlay or onlay so that the restoration can be large enough to withstand forces of mastication and avoid breaking.