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A filling is a common dental treatment to repair dental cavities, frequently caused by decay or damage.

What exactly is a filling?

A filling is a grey amalgam or white resin composite dental material that is used to repair tooth cavities. The filling strengthens the inside of the tooth and can relieve pain and sensitivity that are frequent symptoms of dental cavities. A filling treatment can also prevent further damage and extend the life of the tooth.

How do I know if I need a filling?

You may have a tooth cavity that requires a dental filling treatment if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothache or pain when eating
  • Bad breath
  • Darkening of the tooth surface

When you come in for your initial consultation, your dentist will advise you on the most appropriate course of treatment, which may involve a filling.

What happens during the treatment for a filling?

Dental X-rays and dental imagery of your teeth can be taken to establish the extent of the cavity. Cavities can form under the surface of the tooth when caused by tooth decay and are sometimes virtually invisible from the top of the tooth.

At the start of your filling treatment, your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Some drilling into the top of the tooth may be required to access the cavity. When the cavity has been exposed, the damaged and decayed parts of the tooth are removed and the cavity is cleaned out and disinfected.

Depending on your requirements, grey dental amalgam or tooth-coloured composite resin will be used to fill the cavity and repair the tooth. The filling material sets very quickly and the surface is smoothed off to remove any rough spots. Your bite will then be checked to ensure there is no discomfort when closing your teeth together.

You may feel the effects of the anaesthetic in your mouth when you leave the practice. At first, you may also temporarily notice the filling in your teeth, but you should be able to eat and drink normally in the first few hours after your treatment.

For more information regarding this treatment
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