Fillings, tooth decay, broken teeth.

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Toothcare Fillings

A filling is a plug of material that is placed into a tooth to replace missing tooth substance and/or structure. Most teeth with small to moderate decay or fractures are easily restored to function with fillings. Where decay is extensive or fractures are large, more complex treatment such as a crown may be required. Some teeth can be so badly broken down, decayed or fractured that they are unable to be saved.

Tooth preparation, prior to filling placement, is usually done under local anaesthesia (making the tooth numb). Once all the decay is removed and the tooth is washed and dried, the filling is packed into the cavity and it sets. After the filling is placed, it is shaped to match the original tooth contour and the bite is checked.

You may not know if you need fillings in your teeth. Many small to medium holes in teeth are asymptomatic; they give no pain. In fact, decay can sometimes eat out two-thirds of the tooth from the inside and you would have no idea it is happening. (See -Chronic)

Dental radiographs (X-rays), which are taken on a regular basis as part of your check-up, may show early decay that has not yet given any symptoms. You may be able to see a change in the colour on some of your teeth which may indicate early decay.

If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink, you may need fillings. All persistently sensitive teeth should be checked. Toothache that lasts for more than a few minutes at a time should be investigated. Teeth that cause severe pain may require fillings, or in some cases will require more extensive treatment such as root canal therapy and crown.

There is a variety of materials that can be used for fillings. The choice of which material is made after consideration of many variables such as durability, forces endured and aesthetics (colour matching).

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