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What is a filling?

Quite often, we receive telephone calls asking, “how much is a dental filling?” This is similar to asking, “how much is a car?” Without seeing the extent of the problem, it is impossible to have any idea how complicated a filling may be, or for that matter, whether a filling is even possible.

For the purposes of describing a filling, teeth have five surfaces. A top, a front and back, and two sides. The simplest of fillings is in the top of the tooth or on one of the sides. These are generally simple to do, and of course, have the lowest fee. Once the decay spreads to between the teeth, the whole process becomes more complicated, requires more equipment, and takes more time.

The depth of the filling is also important. A shallow filling should last a lifetime, however, an extremely deep filling usually requires replacement at some stage.

With the exception of the sides of the teeth, if you can see or feel a hole, it is usually deep. If you feel pain in the tooth, this also usually means that the hole is deep. This is why dentists take x-rays. We want to find the hole whilst it is still small, simple, and likely to last a lifetime.

As decay spreads inside the tooth, more and more tooth structure is affected. Also, more and more nerve sensory fibres are involved. Ultimately, the decay spreads to the pulp (main nerve) of the tooth and the tooth becomes infected. This is usually accompanied by severe pain and a filling is no longer possible. Unfortunately, at this stage, only a root canal treatment or extraction is possible.

For information concerning root canal treatment, please (click here).

The fillings provided at The Dental Junction are white fillings called composite resin. Composite resin is a complex mix of fillers such as glass, ceramic and plastics that bond to the tooth with a bonding agent to closely mimic natural tooth. Unfortunately, as they get large, the ability to bond to very little tooth structure becomes less and less. These fillings need to be layered in to the tooth and are set with a light.

Of course, this is a man-made product. For this reason it has it’s limitations. We will advise you of these limitations prior to proceeding with any restorative work.

At The Dental Junction, we use the best materials available. There is no compromise under any circumstances.