Dental cavities are holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. Teeth are in an environment of constant acid attack that strips the teeth of important minerals and breaks the teeth down. Small cavities can become root canals within a year. As a cavity grows, more tooth structure is lost. Lost tooth structure leads to a greater likelihood of fractured teeth, recurrent decay, and tooth loss.
Our goal as your dentist, is to achieve a healthy balance between prevention and restoration. Regular visits to the dentist are key to being cautious, so the cavity can be monitored and treated before it grows too much.
To treat a cavity, we will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then “fill” the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
Improve your Smile with White fillings
Also known as a dental composite, a white filling is a tooth-coloured resin used to restore decayed or broken teeth. By using enamel and dentin bonding techniques, white fillings restore teeth that have become damaged as a result of tooth decay or injury. White fillings are used as an alternative to amalgam (silver) fillings.
How are teeth filled with white fillings?
After removing plaque, tartar, decay and any existing filling, the treatment site is cleaned and then dried. To aid the bonding, the tooth surface is etched and coated with a gel and bonding solution. Once prepared, the white filling material is placed into the tooth cavity, or area to be filled, and then moulded to match the tooth contours. A curing light is then used to harden the filling before it is trimmed and polished to look like a natural part of your tooth.
What are the risks and benefits of white fillings?
Inherent risks exist in all dental procedures, but the main concern with white fillings is their durability and potential shrinkage. However, new technology and dental procedures are resulting in stronger, longer-lasting and lower-shrinkage white fillings.
The benefits far outweigh such problems, because white fillings:
- Can restore not only teeth cavities caused by decay, but chipped, broken and worn teeth.
- The colour can be harmonised to your normal tooth colour to appear natural, so it isn’t noticeable when you smile.
- May be used as a veneer over stained or discoloured teeth.
- less tooth has to be cut away preserving more of your own tooth
- Can be combined with other dental treatments, such as inlays, crowns and bridges.
We can restore your smile to its natural appearance; we can safely replace any silver amalgam fillings with new white ones, and smile with confidence.
These may also be a good choice for people who are afraid of dental work, since a composite can be bonded in place, which means less drilling.