Cavity Fillings: What to Expect, Types & Potential Problems

Although cavity fillings are familiar and straightforward, the doctors and the oral healthcare staff at Wheatland Dental, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the types of, and the potential problems with, dental fillings.

Filling Cavities: What to Expect

The filling is used to fill the area of the tooth affected by decay when the decay is removed. The decay is removed by a drill, and this area is numbed to lessen the discomfort of the patient.

Fillings are also used to repair damage caused by the grinding of the teeth and to replace parts of broken teeth.

Types of Fillings

There are many options available for fillings, and the choice of the patient depends on aesthetic preference and cost. The following are the 5 types of fillings.

  • Amalgam Fillings – Amalgam fillings are strong and are used for the back teeth where chewing takes place. The fillings are made of several metal elements and are noticeable when you smile or laugh. These are the least expensive.
  • Composite Fillings – These fillings, sometimes called filled resins, are made from a combination of glass and quartz to match the color of teeth. Composite fillings are fairly durable and are used for the moderate chewing areas of the mouth.
  • Metals – Gold or silver amalgams are the most common for cavity fillings. Gold fillings can cost as much as 10 times of silver fillings. These metal fillings could last for as long as 20 years before needing replacement.
  • Ceramic – This cavity filling is made of porcelain and is less likely to stain. A ceramic filling can be as expensive as a gold filling.
  • Glass Ionomer – This blend of acrylic and glass can release fluoride to help protect teeth. This filling is less durable than the others and often needs replacement within 5 years.

Taking Care of Cavity Fillings

Any discomfort and sensitivity felt after a filling will subside. It is important to maintain effective oral hygiene to avoid any further decay.

When to Replace a Filling

A filling can last for many years, but all wear down from chewing, the grinding of teeth and the clenching of the jaw. Chewing on a damaged filling may crack the tooth and could require repair procedures in addition to the initial filling. If decay sets in around a filling, your dentist may opt to crown the tooth instead of enlarging the filled area.

Other Potential Problems with Cavity Fillings

It is important for a patient to know and recognize any problems with their fillings. The possible complications can include an infection and damage to the tooth.

If you feel you need a consultation about a problem with a cavity filling, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Wheatland Dental, located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The dedicated team is trusted and highly recommended in preventative and restorative treatments and procedures.

New patients are always welcome at Wheatland Dental.