Fillings or restorations are used to restore the shape, form and function of teeth that are decayed, broken or worn away. They can be placed in the front or back teeth.
How do you identify a need for a filling?
We can idenfity the need for a filling during our comprehensive oral care examinations – for more information on these please see Oral Care.
Why do I need a filling / restoration?
Simply a filling is a clinical way of restoring the tooth to preserve or protect the natural tooth tissues. This is typically in order to protect weakened or infected teeth, or on occasion restore the aesthetics of the tooth.
This can involve removing chipped, decayed or infected tooth tissue and then using ‘white teeth materials’ such as composite or porcelain to fill the ‘cavity’ or hole caused by removing the decayed tissue. This protects the nerves inside the tooth while restoring and enhancing the natural tooth tissue and can prevent the need for further treatment, such as root canal treatment.
We always ensure we use advanced materials that are aesthetically pleasing – but also incredibly durable for long lasting relief and protection.
We are a mercury free practice, and do not use any metal or dental amalgam based materials.
What type of fillings are there?
There is a significant range of fillings that different dentists use – we now recommend composite or porcelain which are more modern materials that are as durable as amalgam (the silver filling) and more aesthetically pleasing.
Our expert dentists are able to complete all forms of fillings and therefore we assess on a case by case basis. Typical options include:
Amalgam – the dark grey fillings often seen on back teeth. These are particularly common in NHS dental practices as they are cheaper, easy to complete and very durable. They consist of an amalgamation of Mercury liquid and an alloy powder that is then packed into a prepared cavity.
Composite – ‘white filling’, composites are made up of a very hard plastic and glass. The techniques for composite fillings are more advanced but these are significantly more secure as they involve bonding the filling to the original tooth. When the filling shape or size is unusual composite provides a soft putty-like material that provides the best results for ensuring a perfect fit. Our dentists have all completed advanced training in placing composite fillings, to ensure the best seal in the tooth, and also to guarantee optimum aesthetics and durability.
Glass ionomer fillings – these fillings are popular in children’s dentistry as they only last approximately 5 years but will still prevent further tooth decay. These are made from tiny glass particles combined with acrylic powder and then set via chemical bonding.
Porcelain – There are many types of porcelain available on the market and we tend to use the strongest, and most aesthetic varieties. These tend to be more expensive and require more advanced dental techniques therefore not all practices offer these as an option. At Bespoke Smile Dr Sam Jethwa has trained his own dental technicians and produced our own unique blend of super thin, durable, and beautiful porcelain. We believe they provide amazing aesthetics and are incredible durable meaning they are often the right answer for patients of any age who want to ensure a filling doesn’t make their smile less attractive, and reduces the risk of further replacement dentistry.
Fissure sealants – these are preventative resin fillings, which are usually places on teeth at the back of the mouth. They seal fissures (grooves) at the back of the mouth and can prevent decay in future. They are often placed in children with a high decay rate, to protect the adult teeth.
In summary – there are many options for fillings but our dentists are trained to examine any fissure or decay and able to provide clear explanations for their recommendations to stop any pain and ensure your teeth have long-term protection.
Page last updated and checked by Dr Sam Jethwa: September 21, 2020