A dental filling is used to close and seal a tooth cavity or hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. Dental fillings can be amalgam or made from a composite resin material. Composite dental fillings are more frequently used as they provide a natural appearance, blend into the color of natural teeth and appear invisible in the mouth. Amalgam fillings are frequently replaced with ceramic fillings.
Candidates for dental filings are patients who are experiencing toothache or tooth sensitivity due to tooth decay creating a hole in the tooth. Untreated tooth cavities can lead to tooth extraction. It is imperative for anybody who has a small cavity or a large crack that is developing into a cavity should consult a dentist for advice on whether dental filings are the correct treatment.
Before fitting a dental filling in the mouth a dentist will first clean the area around the cavity and remove any tooth decay or plaque or bacteria build up. After the tooth cavity is extensively cleaned the dental filling will be placed into the hole.
The dentist will check that the filling is not interfering with the patients bite and will use a laser to seal the tooth when the filling is correctly inserted. The procedure takes 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of dental filing needed and the area of decay that needs removed before the dentist can start the procedure.