Fillings, also known as dental restoration, are used to restore teeth and treat dental decay especially in the molars (back teeth). Wear and tear is inevitable in back teeth as these teeth do most of the heavy chewing of food, however regular cleaning, check-ups and a healthy diet can help with the prevention of problems and decay.
Receiving one or multiple fillings is a simple and quick procedure that can be done in a single dental appointment. Your dentist will remove any decay in the affected area with a drill or instrument. The hole is then cleaned and dried, and sealed up with the filling material.
Types of Fillings
Two types of fillings are used today; dental amalgam (metal alloy) or a tooth-coloured material. Other forms of fillings include gold or ceramic crowns, however these are a more expensive alternative.
Dental amalgam, often called ‘silver fillings’, is a metal alloy generally made up of mercury, silver and tin. It is an inexpensive filling option, however the filling has a grey or silver appearance and is much more visible in the mouth.
Dental amalgam is not suitable for the following type of patients, and should be avoided:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- People with kidney disease
While no current scientific evidence links dental amalgam to ill health or birth defects, our recommendations are made for precautionary reasons.
Tooth-coloured (white) fillings have been used in front teeth restoration for cosmetic reasons for many years. Today it is widely used for the treatment of back teeth, and has become a more widely used alternative to dental amalgam.