What is a filling and why would I need one?
Fillings help to restore a tooth’s shape and function when it’s been damaged by decay. Tooth decay can call small holes or fissures in your tooth – these are usually called “caries” or “cavities.” If the damage isn’t too severe, filling the tooth is a likely solution.
If you get a filling, we’ll remove the decayed tooth material and clean the infected area. We’ll then fill the tooth with a filling material. This helps stop bacteria from re-entering the damaged area and can prevent further decay.
Filling materials can vary based on your needs and preferences. Amalgam (silver) fillings were common in the past, but are often more noticeable. Gold fillings are sometimes used, although this material tends to be better for less-visible molars; gold fillings are also usually a bit pricier.
White fillings are a little different.
What is a white filling?
“White filling” generally refers to a type of filling made from composite resin, which will be matched to the colour of your natural tooth. Because they’re matched to your own teeth, they tend to be a more natural-looking option – that’s great news if you need a filling in a more visible location, like a front tooth.
This procedure usually involves building up the tooth-coloured resin one layer at a time. We’ll harden each layer with a special light. On average, we can finish your filling within one hour or less, but larger fillings can take a little longer. We’ll be sure to explain to you beforehand how much time to set aside for your filling appointment.
White fillings might also be made of a porcelain material. These are durable and natural-looking, although a procedure using porcelain can sometimes take a little longer and might cost more.
At Melbourne MD, we’ll explain our recommendations to you and help you understand any options you should consider.
How to care for a white filling
Once you’ve got a filling, how do you take care of it? Well, it’s a lot like looking after any of your other teeth! Practising good oral hygiene is the best way to minimise damage to your filling – this means brushing twice per day and flossing at least once per day.
Your filling will be matched to your tooth, but remember that it may be liable to stain or discolour the same as your natural teeth. If you’re worried about discolouration, try to avoid common teeth-staining habits like drinking coffee, and quit smoking – think of the other benefits for your health too.
If you think you may need a filling or want to speak to someone about replacing an old one, please contact our friendly dental team.
Book an appointment
To find out more about Melbourne MD or to book an appointment, call us today on (03) 9452 2111 or contact us online.
Have you had a dental emergency?
If you have a dental emergency—either severe pain requiring root canal (also known as endondontic treatment) or a lost tooth—call our surgery straight away and we’ll do our best to find a time to see you.