WHAT IS A FILLING?
A dental filling is a type of treatment that is used to repair minor damages to the surfaces of the teeth. Dental filling materials, which include composite (“white fillings”) or silver amalgam (“grey fillings”) are used to fill the cavity and repair the tooth to its original shape and texture. A good filling can last for decades – or even a lifetime.
Filling a tooth is a relatively minor and inexpensive procedure. It is a very good option to prevent further damage to the tooth. It can also eliminate pain and tooth sensitivity. basically, a filling is the first line of defense against bad teeth.
To fill a cavity, the dentist will generally first apply a local anesthetic to dull any sensitivity. Then he will remove the decayed material with a minute drill and clean the affected area. The cleaned-out cavity is immediately filled with the composite or amalgam, which sets and hardens almost instantly.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A FILLING?
The only way to determine if you need a filling is by having the dentist check your teeth, because not all cavities are clearly visible or cause pain and sensitivity. The dentist will check the surface of your teeth with a small mirror and special tools to find small areas of decay. Sometimes, an X-ray (which is completely painless and perfectly safe) is necessary to determine the extent of the damage below the surface.
IS GETTING A FILLING PAINFUL?
Depending on your sensitivity, good dentist can make the experience almost completely pain-free.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SILVER (GREY) AND WHITE FILLINGS?
Grey are silver fillings consist of amalgam, a metallic compound that is mixed just before application and that hardens with in hours. Amalgam fillings are very strong durable and can resist a great deal of biting pressure, which is why they are often used for back teeth. They are also slightly cheaper than white fillings. The disadvantage, of course, is the darker color, which does not blend in with the white enamel of the natural teeth.