Fillings are placed to restore decayed, broken, chipped and worn teeth.
The material used can be:
- Tooth coloured
1- Composite restorations
This type of materials is placed incrementally onto the tooth and is hardened by exposure to a special curing light. The restoration is then contoured to fit the bite and then is highly polished. These fillings require a bit more time than a silver filling due to the number of steps involved. They wear over time and can discolour if the person drinks a lot of coffee, tea, and wine or smokes or chews tobacco. They are more expensive than silver fillings, however, they yield a much more natural and aesthetic result as the material comes in different shades to match your tooth colour.
2- Glass ionomer cements
Its main limitation is its reduced strength and low resistance to abrasion and wear. It is mostly used to restore small cavities and as cavity liners. It can release fluoride ions which help prevent future decay.
- None tooth coloured
1- Temporary fillings
These are generally used to stabilise oral health or as interim restorations between visits when root canal treatment is indicated.
2- Amalgam restorations (silver fillings)
This type of material is used in posterior teeth (where aesthetics is not a concern). Safety of amalgam has been questioned over the years as it contains mercury; however, it has been used since the mid 1800 and it is endorsed by the British Dental Association, American Dental Association, FDI World Dental Federation and World Health Organization as based on current evidence, it is a safe, durable and cost effective restoration.