If part of a tooth has been decayed or damaged due to an accident and needs to be repaired, you could need a filling.
Silver-coloured fillings are made of a material called amalgam; a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other metals. These fillings are very hardwearing, which is why they are often put into the back chewing teeth. The amalgam we use contains a minimum of mercury, as some people are concerned about mercury toxicity. There is no definite scientific evidence for this, but we can always avoid using amalgam if you wish.
Natural-coloured (composite) fillings
Would you prefer a natural-looking, tooth-coloured filling to a ‘silver’ amalgam filling, or have you considered replacing existing amalgam fillings with tooth-coloured composite ones? Ask your Manor Square dentist for advice or book a new patient consultation by calling 01943 461501.
What is a composite filling?
Rather than an amalgam filling, you may decide to have a composite or ‘white’ filling that will match the colour of your natural tooth. Composite fillings are made from a putty-like resin based material that can be moulded to the exact shape of the tooth and set using a visible blue light. Although not as hard wearing and long lasting as amalgam fillings, they look more attractive and can require less preparation as they bond to the remaining tooth. They are a great way to repair teeth without spoiling their appearance, and can also be used to improve the look of badly shaped or gap teeth.
An inlay is a filling made in the dental laboratory. The inlay is constructed from the latest ceramics, making it strong and very natural looking. Inlays last longer than white fillings and are recommended for larger areas where white fillings would not be strong enough.
Dental abscesses and root fillings
Dental abscesses occur when tooth decay is not treated and reaches right through to the inner dental pulp (the inside of the tooth which holds the blood supply and the nerves). This pulp chamber then becomes infected and dies, and the bacteria spreads into the root of the tooth to form an abscess. The infection and subsequent build-up of pus means that dental abscesses can be painful, especially when you chew, but they can be treated relatively easily. If the abscess bursts, the pain may go, but you should still seek treatment from your dentist to make sure the problem doesn't return.
Treatment for a dental abscess involves either having the tooth removed or filling the root of the tooth, known as root canal treatment. In order to carry out root canal filling, your Manor Square dentist will first need to deal with the infection and is likely to drain the abscess. This involves drilling (under local anaesthetic) through the top of your tooth into the pulp chamber and removing the dead bits of the pulp. If the infection has spread beyond the tooth, you may need a temporary filling and some antibiotics until it clears up. After removing the pulp, the gap is filled with a rubbery material and a normal filling or crown is fitted on top.