Dental Fillings

General Dentistry

Dental Fillings

Dental fillings restore (or seal) and preserve a tooth that has been attacked by bacteria and has decayed.  Fillings can also be used in a cosmetic context.

The Role of Dental Fillings - Restorative And Cosmetic

A filling is a compound that bonds to the tooth.  A filling helps to preserve a tooth's structure and prevents further decay.

This is important because if bacteria reaches the tooths nerve, it can do further damage to teeth and gums.  Unfortunately, it can cause a lot of pain.  In other words, where the gum disease or tooth decay is left untreated, chronic pain and long-term irreversible damage can result.

Sometimes, all that’s needed is to fill where the tooth structure has broken down.  Accordingly, this helps the tooth continue functioning, be healthy and stop further decay.

Finally, a filling can also be used where there is a minor crack or chip.  It's also a solution where the tooth has broken down due to erosion or attrition. This is especially obvious with people who grind their teeth (i.e. suffer from Bruxism) or have brittle teeth.  In this context, a filling is used as a cosmetic treatment.



Why You Might Need A Dental Filling

If you have a hole or cavity in your tooth, a dental filling is one way of treating it. This may be the case where you have tooth decay.  Another reason is because your tooth has suffered a trauma.

What Alternatives Are There To A Dental Filling?

There are a number of alternatives to a dental filling.  Of course, deciding which dental solution firs best depends on the particular issue with your tooth.  It is also depends on personal choice.  Generally, this means weighing up the pros and cons of the alternatives available.

Sometimes, a filling may only provide a temporary solution because the tooth is too damaged. Consequently, the dentist considers whether the tooths root canal has been impacted.  If so, root canal treatment may be a better path.  In other situations options may include a crown, bridge, extraction, a dental implant or even a denture.

Often the choice of treatment depends on how severe the tooth decay or bone loss may be.  There are lots of dental issues with a range of solutions.  Therefore, you should talk with your dentist to select the best treatment option.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are many different types of dental filling materials available.  The selection is often a personal choice.  Each material has both advantages and disadvantages.  In summary, the main materials available include:

  • Composite fillings
  • Gold filling
  • Silver/amalgam fillings (made from a combination of silver copper tin and zinc)
  • Porcelain and Zirconia fillings


Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Fillings

How Long Dental Fillings Last

Fillings can last from 5 to 15 years.  However, this depends on a number of factors.  These include the fillings material, and the long term care and maintenance of the filling.  Other factors include:

  • the nature of your bite
  • the remaining tooth structure of your teeth
  • the number of teeth remaining in your mouth
  • and of course, lifestyle choices.

Preventative Dental Care

Dental fillings go a long way to help repair a tooth.  Unfortunately, a filling can't repair all the damage a tooth may have.  That's why, prevention is always a better choice.

Firstly, at home it's important to keep up with your dental hygiene practices.  This means not forgetting to brushing twice a day with a soft bristled brush and use fluoride toothpaste.   Also, dental flossing is a must.  By flossing, you will get into those hard to reach areas and remove the food particles and bacteria that are wedged in between your teeth.   Maintaining a well balanced diet is also a must.

Secondly, a regular dental checkup and a professional dental cleaning are also very beneficial at keeping on top of your dental healthcare.

In summary, preventative dental care includes both at home oral hygiene practices and regular trips to the dentist to check out that everything is ok.  Indeed, these go a long way to both preventing tooth decay and avoiding a dental filling in the future.

To find out more about our dental fillings and other dental services, call our friendly staff at Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic on (08) 8268 5422 or request an appointment online.




49 Woodville Road

Woodville, SA 5011

(08) 8268 5422

Call us today!

Book An Appointment