Even if you practice good oral habits such as brushing regularly and flossing after every meal, plaque and tartar will still build up on your teeth, causing gum diseases and tooth decay in the long run.
Tooth fillings are used to restore cavities caused by decay, so that they won’t turn into bigger problems later. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked, broken, or worn down teeth.
If you experience some of the following symptoms, you may have tooth decay that require a visit to the dentist to check if a filling will help you:
Typically, the dentist will use local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth before using a tool to remove the decayed area. After assessing that all decay has been removed, the dentist will clean the cavity and fill the cavity. A light cure will be used to harden the layers of filling material, and any excess will be filed off.
The procedure for a tooth filling ranges from $80 – $150. Refer to our pricing guide here for more details.
The cost of the filling depends on both the complexity of the procedure, as well as the material used for the tooth filling.
While there are different type of materials available for dental fillings, the dentist will recommend the best type of material for you based on your condition, budget, and considerations.
Composite fillings are made from plastic or acrylic, and the shade of the composite can be matched closely to the colour of your teeth. This makes it ideal for front teeth or visible parts of the teeth. They are also versatile in being used to restore chipped teeth as the resin material is able to bond to the structure of the tooth.
However, composite fillings are only able to last up to 5 years typically before needing to be replaced (as compared to amalgam fillings). It is also more expensive then amalgam fillings, and the process takes longer to apply the composite material.
Dental amalgam is a metal alloy mixture comprising of copper, tin, mercury, and silver. This is one of the most common type of dental filling, and is the least expensive option among the various types of materials. They are durable and strong, and can typically last at least 10 to 15 years, outlasting composite fillings.
However, they do not look natural given their colour, and more healthy parts of the tooth may be removed in order for a proper fit of the fillings. There is also the possibility of an allergic reaction due to trace amounts of mercury. The metal in the amalgam can also expand and contract when in contact with hot or cold food, which may cause more fractures over time.
Similar to amalgam fillings, gold fillings are highly durable, can last more than 20 years, and won’t corrode.
However, given the cost of gold, they are a lot more expensive and can cost up to 10 times more than amalgam fillings. The gold colour might not be aesthetically pleasing as it is stands out against the natural colour of your teeth.
Although a filling can last for several years, it will not last forever. How long a filling lasts depends on your oral hygiene, where the filling is used, and the type of filling used. If your filling is not functioning as it should be, you may experience some sensitivity or pain.
The filling itself will not hurt. Through the process, the dentist will use a local anaesthetic to ensure that you feel little to no pain during the procedure. The pain you experience from the cavity caused by the decay in your tooth will probably be much more than the experience of getting the filling.
If you’ve had a filling before, you might think that you’re in the clear and nothing bad can happen to it. The filling itself (the material) cannot decay, but tooth decay can still happen underneath a filling, especially if the filling has been damaged or worn down. Bacteria can still enter the crack, and a new cavity can form again.