Restoring teeth with dental fillings
Teeth that have been damaged by decay or fractured are repaired using dental fillings. Modern fillings are technologically advanced, bonded to the tooth structure and are natural looking. Dental fillings help to restore the tooth so you can eat, drink, bite, talk and smile with confidence!
Tooth coloured fillings
In most situations, a tooth coloured filling is used. These composite resin fillings are bonded to the tooth structure and the seal between the filling and the tooth is better than the silver fillings of the past. Composite fillings can be used in almost every situation from small chips on front teeth, worn enamel from near the gum line to larger fillings in back teeth. When replacing deteriorated silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings are commonly used to restore the tooth. They are also used as a base underneath a new dental crown. Composite fillings are an affordable alternative to porcelain fillings.
Porcelain can be a superior material to amalgam and composite resin fillings. It mimics natural tooth enamel in colour and translucency and is carefully matched to your natural tooth colour. Porcelain is stain-resistant, strong and durable. Porcelain fillings, or onlays/inlays, are custom made by our expert lab technicians and two appointments are required to complete the process (similar to a porcelain crown).
The dental filling process
1.We start with a dental examination to assess the condition of your teeth and diagnose any areas of concern. This often includes dental xrays to aid in the diagnosis, to diagnose the severity of the decay or break and to uncover hidden problems especially in between back teeth and under any existing dental work. Your dentist will discuss the whole process and detail the treatment plan including the costs, payment options and number of visits required. This is the perfect opportunity for you to discuss your preference in filling materials.
2.Prior to treatment, your gums should be in optimal condition so a thorough hygiene visit to establish gum health is essential. Inflamed gums can bleed which could effect the quality of your new filling as modern materials are susceptible to moisture when being placed. Just like teeth, dental fillings also need excellent home care and regular professional care to avoid recurring decay so your dentist will discuss how best to take care of your gums and new fillings.
3.Composite fillings are completed in one visit. The teeth are numbed gently with a local anaesthetic and any decay or old filling material is carefully removed. The tooth is prepared for bonding and the filling material is placed in small increments. A special blue UV light sets each increment until the cavity is filled.
4. The filling is shaped and adjusted to fit into your bite comfortably. It is then polished to shine!
5. Porcelain fillings require two visits. The same process to prepare the tooth is followed. In addition, a mould is taken of the tooth to send to the lab technician to custom make your filling (onlay/inlay). A temporary filling is placed until the next visit, about 2 weeks later.
6. At the next visit, the temporary filling is removed and the porcelain filling is tried and then cemented in permanently. It is adjusted and polished.
- tooth coloured and natural looking fillings
- restore the look and function of teeth
- prevent decay from progressing deeper into the tooth
- durable and hard wearing
Why do silver fillings break more often?
How long do fillings last?
Take excellent care of your fillings with good home care and regular dental visits and hygiene treatment, and they can last decades. Fillings can break or crack when they are subjected to strong forces like teeth grinding and clenching. Fillings can also deteriorate with age. The seal between the filling and the tooth can deteriorate, allowing decay causing bacteria to lodge inside the tooth. This decay undermines the filling which can then become loose and fall out. Large fillings are weaker and can break when subjected to strong forces or biting on hard objects or food. A dental crown may be indicated to strengthen and protect weak teeth.
Can I claim or pay off my fillings?
Certainly! If you are covered for dental restorations, you will be eligible* for a rebate from your dental fund. We also offer interest free payment plans* from Humm where you pay a portion upfront and pay off the remainder over 3-12 months. Ask us to help you check your eligibility. (*T&Cs apply)