A filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function and integrity of a missing tooth structure, often from caries (tooth decay) or from external trauma.

We are advocates of white fillings. They are stronger and more durable than silver amalgam fillings. And they can be perfectly matched to your tooth’s natural colour. Whether you need a new filling or would like to replace an old silver filling with the new tooth-coloured variety, we can help you.

What is a filling?
We use fillings to treat cavities. We remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then fill the area on the tooth where the decayed material once lived. Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding.
What steps are involved in filling a tooth?

First, we use a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be worked on. Next, we use an air rotor to gain access to the tooth’s decay. Then we remove the decay.

Next, we will test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. We use a special dye which sticks to the bacteria that causes decay. Once the decay has been removed, we will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacterial debris. If the decay is near the root, we might put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, we will finish and polish it.

Several additional steps are required for tooth-coloured fillings. Firstly, we put a gel on the tooth to make sure it is absolutely clean. Then we add a bonding agent to make sure the filling strongly adheres to the tooth. Then we begin to build the filling up in layers using tooth-coloured material.

Next, a special light that “cures” or hardens each layer is applied. When the multilayering process is completed, we will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material and polish the final restoration.

I think my filling may be broken
If your tooth is extremely sensitive, if you feel a sharp edge, if you notice a crack in the filling or if a piece of the filling is missing, call us and we will try to help you.
What happens after a filling?
Many people feel some sensitivity after a filling. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods, heat or cold. In most cases, the sensitivity will subside over one to two weeks. Until then, try to avoid anything that causes it. If your tooth is extremely sensitive or the sensitivity gets worse, contact your dentist.
Are Amalgam-Type Fillings Safe?

Amalgam fillings are made by combining mercury and a silver alloy (50% mercury, 35% silver, 15% tin, copper and other metals). Amalgam is hard wearing and has been used in fillings for at least 150 years.

Over the past few years, concerns have been raised about these types of fillings. Because amalgams contain the toxic substance mercury, some people think that amalgams are responsible for causing a number of diseases, including autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The British Dental Health Foundation does not consider that the use of dental amalgam containing mercury poses a significant health risk.

The Foundation advises patients not to have their amalgam fillings replaced unless they are certain they are allergic to dental amalgam, as the process of removal can weaken the teeth. It also supports the view of the UK Department of Health that it is sensible to minimise health interventions during pregnancy.

For this reason, and because mercury can be passed through the placenta and breast milk, it is prudent to avoid placing or removing amalgam fillings during pregnancy. However, under urgent circumstances, we can remove amalgam safely.

I have terrible pain. I need root canal therapy but it sounds dreadful

There is something barbaric-sounding to the term root canal treatment. In fact, the aim is to relieve discomfort rather than create it.It’s a painless treatment that puts an end to excruciating pain. And with technological advances, we are able to gently save teeth that would previously have been extracted.

The aim of the treatment is to remove all infection from the root canal. The root is cleaned and filled to prevent any further infection. We use a local anaesthetic and it feels no different to having a regular filling.

So, root canal therapy is the good guy.

Why might you need root canal therapy?

Extensive decay or trauma can cause teeth to die. The nerve becomes highly inflamed as it is dying and causes acute pain. Once the tooth has died the nerve endings and blood vessels (the pulp) in the tooth become infected, producing a swelling or abscess. This too causes severe pain.

Root canal therapy will relieve the acute pain and restore the tooth to its normal happy state.

What does root treatment involve?

Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure and is usually carried out over two or more visits.

At the first appointment, the infected pulp (blood and nerve supply) is painlessly removed allowing any abscesses to drain.

The root canal is then cleaned with special antiseptics and shaped ready for the filling. A temporary filling is put in and the tooth is left to settle.

The tooth is checked at a later visit and when all the infection has cleared, the tooth is permanently filled and restored to its natural-looking normal state.

Do you do sealants?

A sealant is a clear or white plastic protective coating that is painted onto the areas where most cavities form – mostly the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

These back teeth, molars and premolars, have grooves and crevices called pits and fissures. Food can get stuck in these crevices. Some crevices are so deep that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach into them. Pits and fissures provide the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause cavities.

Sealants help to prevent this from happening by covering the grooves and crevices so that food cannot get into them. And yes, we do sealants. Ask Hayley, our hygienist, or one of the dentists when you’re next in.

  • We use an intra oral dental camera so that you can now see the inside or your mouth too. It’s onscreen immediately so diagnosis is quicker.
  • And if you have a musical preference, please tell us.
  • Reassuringly, there’s 90% less radiation dosage from our x-rays than conventional methods.
  • If you feel the cold, our deluxe White Company blankets will keep you toasty.
  • Snuggle down and watch a film on our new DVD goggles.