Tooth fillings are a dental restoration procedure that improves the integrity, morphology, and functionality of the decayed, chipped, or cavity-filled tooth. Dental fillings services mainly treat the small holes in teeth caused by cavities.
Dental fillings can effectively restore chewing abilities and prevent further tooth loss. These fillings also improve your smile and eventually help you regain your self-confidence. There are multiple dental issues why your dentist may recommend you to get dental fillings, including:
- Cavity-filled teeth.
- Holes in teeth.
- Decayed reached the pulp of teeth and has affected roots.
- Persistent toothache.
- Gapped teeth.
Sometimes, tooth fillings also become necessary after tooth extraction. When dentists remove cavity-filled or decayed teeth, there is a space left in your mouth that can cause several periodontal diseases.
This gap becomes a reason for plaque accumulation and troubled eating. It can also give rise to teeth alignment problems. That’s why it is essential to fill these gaps through dental fillings and avoid severe consequences in the future.
COMMON DENTAL FILLINGS PROCEDURE
Dental filling treats minor fractures and holes in your teeth and is a simple restorative dental procedure. That’s why it is generally completed in a single dental appointment. However, some specific types of dental fillings, like, composite fillings, may require 2 or 3 dental appointments as they are made according to your impressions in the dental labs.
- During the dental fillings treatment process, the dentist first assesses your oral condition through a series of digital X-rays to get precise information regarding the severity and location of your tooth decay. Before initiating treatment, the dentist also presents different filling options to their patients, like inlays, gold or silver amalgams, and composite fillings.
- After that, the dentist begins the treatment by numbing the patient’s affected area with the use of an anaesthetic to prevent pain sensations during the filling procedure.
- Then, the dentist removes the damaged and decayed parts of teeth with a laser or a dental handpiece. Afterwards, the dentist cleans the area with an acid gel to remove excess debris and bacteria. Then the dentist applies a filling material on the infected tooth and fills the cavity.
During the placement of composite fillings, the dentist isolates the affected tooth to prevent moisture interference during the bonding process. Finally, the dentist polishes the tooth and concludes the dental filling procedure.
TYPES OF DENTAL FILLINGS
There are several types of dental fillings that you can opt for depending on the severity of your decay and personal preferences:
1. SILVER AMALGAM FILLINGS
Silver amalgam fillings are durable and can last for almost 10 to 15 years if properly cared for. These fillings can outlast other dental fillings and withstand strong chewing forces. Moreover, silver fillings prove to be less expensive than composite fillings.
2. GOLD FILLINGS
Gold fillings are a combination of various metals, including copper, tin, palladium, etc. They are durable and strong and look comparatively more aesthetically pleasing than silver amalgam fillings. However, people usually get gold fillings in their posterior teeth, mostly in molars or premolars. So they can be less visible because these fillings do not blend with the natural colour of our teeth.
3. COMPOSITE OR COSMETIC DENTAL FILLINGS
Composite fillings are also called cosmetic dental fillings because they revamp your smile by restoring your teeth and delivering a natural appearance. Cosmetic fillings meet dental aesthetics as they blend with your natural teeth.
Moreover, these fillings micro-mechanically bond with the tooth structure, providing them with further resistance and support. Composite dental fillings are versatile and can treat multiple dental issues, including chipped, broken, and worn teeth due to trauma or an injury.
4. CERAMIC FILLINGS
Ceramic fillings chemically fuse to your teeth and provide additional support. These fillings are composed of high-quality ceramic or porcelain material and give you a natural-looking smile.
Moreover, these fillings are less likely to stain, are durable and can last for about 15 years, depending on your oral conditions. These fillings are slightly more expensive than gold or amalgam fillings and can cost around $300 to $4500 per procedure.
AVERAGE COST OF DENTAL FILLING IN ONTARIO
The tooth filling cost in Canada generally depends on the type of filling you have opted for. Composite fillings can cost you around $150 to $550, based on the number of decayed or damaged teeth.
The charges for gold amalgam fillings are between $300 to $1000, and silver filling tooth costs are around $50 to $250.
However, these are estimated costs and generally vary according to your region, the complexity of dental issues, and the experience of your dentist.
WHY DO YOU NEED DENTAL FILLING REPLACEMENT?
Although dental fillings last for many years, if you maintain good oral hygiene, they still cannot last forever. After a specific period, the dental fillings become worn out or dysfunctional due to constant grinding, clenching, and eating of various food items that potentially deteriorate the quality of these fillings.
That’s why you need to replace your dental fillings before they become too damaged and affect your oral health. The worn-out dental fillings become a reason for bacterial accumulation and also get discoloured after some time.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU REPLACE YOUR TOOTH FILLINGS?
You can replace your dental fillings as often as possible until the holes are too enlarged. The presence of more filling material than the natural tooth reduces its strength and deteriorates chewing abilities. In such cases, dentists usually suggest patients get dental implants.
DOES THE TOOTH HURT AFTER FILLINGS?
During the dental filling process, patients do not feel any kind of pain due to anaesthetics. After the treatment, people might feel slight discomfort or sensitivity to hot or cold food items in the initial week, but these are temporary side effects and usually fade after a few days.
HOW LONG DO THE DENTAL FILLINGS TAKE TO HEAL?
People have different experiences after getting tooth fillings. Normally the side effects subside after a few days, but in some cases, they might take 2 to 3 weeks to resolve. The healing time also depends on the severity of the cavity and the size of the fillings.