Types of Cavity Fillings

Types of Cavity Fillings

Dental Restorations
PGA Dentistry
May 03, 2018
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Try as we might keep our teeth as healthy as possible, it is virtually inevitable that we will experience some degree of dental decay during our lifetime.

What is dental decay?

Dental decay occurs when the plaque acids produced by bacteria in our mouths start to erode the hard, outer layer of our teeth, known as the enamel. When this happens, it can create a small hole in the enamel that will eventually penetrate through to the softer, middle layer of our teeth known as dentin. Left untreated, there is nothing to stop bacteria continuing to eat away at our teeth until most of the tooth has been destroyed.

Most people assume that decay will always form on the tops of our teeth. However, dental decay does not discriminate and instead will affect any part of the tooth that it has access to. This includes tooth roots, which are often exposed if the patient is also suffering from gum disease, or even around the edges of old cavity fillings that you may have.

Dental decay tends to be most prevalent in children, and in people over the age of 50, the latter being more likely to develop tooth-root based decay. This is because periodontal disease and its effects are more common with advancing age.

Symptoms of tooth decay

When we suffer from tooth decay, we can expect to experience symptoms such as:

  • Sensitivity when eating or drinking something that is hot, cold or sweet

  • Sharp, acute tooth pain

  • Continuous toothache that interrupts sleep

  • Bad breath

  • A dark spot appearing on your tooth

Generally, the more severe the decay is, the worse the symptoms are. Seeking diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible can help alleviate your suffering and prevent the decay from spreading throughout your tooth.

If you are found to have an area of decay, we may recommend that you have a type of treatment known as a cavity filling.

What is a cavity filling?

A cavity filling is a procedure that sees your dentist drilling away the decayed part of your tooth and filling it with a material that restores its strength, shape and size. If your dentist offers laser technology, then it is also possible for the laser to be used to remove the area of decay. Once the decay has gone, your dentist can measure the space that needs to be filled and decide which filling material will be most suitable. In some instances, it may be necessary for your dentist to use a base or liner which sits between the pulp of your tooth (the innermost layer) and the filling material. This is usually made from either composite resin, glass ionomer or zinc oxide and eugenol.

Types of filling

There are several different types of filling available. Your dentist will recommend which is most suitable to repair you tooth.

PGA Dentistry
April 30, 2020

Disinfection and sterilization are two crucial decontamination processes that are performed in medical and dental offices. Any good dental practice will have robust protocols for carrying out these processes, the purpose of which is to ensure that any medical and surgical instruments being used do not transmit infectious pathogens to patients.

PGA Dentistry
March 31, 2020

If you are looking to transform the appearance of your smile, you may be considering getting porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments and can improve the way your teeth look in just two appointments. Each veneer is custom-designed for a specific tooth and is created in the perfect shape, size, and color needed to naturally enhance its appearance. The process to fit dental veneers is simple too and takes place over two visits to your dentist. The first is used to prepare whichever teeth are being covered with porcelain veneers. This involves administering local anesthetic so that a little of the enamel can be removed, which will ensure that the veneers do not make the tooth appear too thick. Impressions are then taken which will be used to create your veneers before you are fitted with a temporary device and can leave. The second appointment, a week or two later, will involve checking the fit of your veneers and securing them permanently in place.

PGA Dentistry
February 29, 2020

Porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are options to restore your teeth. They can improve both the function and the look of your teeth. However, the main difference is that a porcelain veneer only covers the front of your tooth. A crown will cover the entire tooth. Before deciding which one is right for you, you will want to understand the differences between them. Both of the procedures have good success rates.