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Cavity fillings and resotrations.

 Cavity fillings and restorations

This is done when parts of the tooth have been damaged by tooth decay or have fractured. The treatment involves removing all the decay and sealing the hole in the tooth with materials to protect the remaining tooth from further decay. Once it's done, the tooth is pretty much back to normal.

There are a few materials that are commonly used for fillings. We mostly use for the composite resins (white fillings) now to match with your tooth color. The other type of material is amalgam (silver metallic filling).

Composite fillings, white color

Composite referred to as white fillings. Composite is a tooth coloured material composed of glass particles suspended in a resin matrix. It is available in several shades to perfectly match your tooth. Composites are bonded directly to your tooth which can help to support the remaining tooth structure.

Porcelain fillings, white color

Porcelain fillings are made of porcelain, which are more resistant to staining than composite fillings. We can match your tooth's color better with porcelain filling, because they can be matched to any shade. These fillings can last more than 15 years.

Amalgam fillings, silver color

Which one is best for me?

It's really based on the cavity you have and where it is. We'll figure it out together based on your cavity, your preferences and we'll decide together. The choice is usually pretty obvious.

Why replace amalgam fillings?

Amalgam (silver fillings) have been replaced with other methods of restoring a tooth for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because of the nature of amalgam, it may expand causing the filled tooth to crack over time.

Composite resin fillings are one of the tooth coloured fillings that are commonly used and it is done by sculpting the material directly in the mouth. Porcelain restoration on the other hand is fabricated in the laboratory based on an impression of your teeth and is stronger than the composite fillings.

Thus, many patients are replacing their amalgam for composite or porcelain fillings. Amalgam removal is being done under high speed suction in order to reduce exposure to mercury vapour in the process. The use of rubber dam greatly reduces the patients exposure to mercury vapour.

Situations when amalgam use should be avoided

People who are advised to avoid getting new amalgam fillings or having existing ones removed or replaced (where possible) include:

  • Pregnant women – mercury may cross the placenta and enter the bloodstream of the fetus.
  • Women who are breastfeeding – mercury may be passed to the baby through breast milk.
  • Children – growing and developing teeth are more sensitive to the effects of any chemical substances in the environment, including mercury.
  • People with kidney disease – high levels of mercury exposure can affect the kidneys, so exposure to mercury should be minimised for people with kidney disease.

While there is currently no scientific evidence directly linking amalgam with either ill health or birth defects, these recommendations have been made for precautionary reasons.

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