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When a tooth breaks a Dental Filling can be used to replace the missing tooth structure.

The most common cause of a break is a cavity caused by decay, but teeth can also chip or crack as a result of injury and trauma, or from habits such as nail-biting and tooth grinding. The aim is to restore the shape and function of the tooth back to normal.

Signs that you may have tooth decay and damage include:

  • Teeth feel rough or sharp
  • Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink
  • Pain when chewing or biting together
  • Toothache

If you experience any of the above, contact Cirencester Dental and Aesthetics on 01285 653251 to discuss your symptoms and we would aim to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. One of our dentists will check the teeth to confirm whether or not a filling is necessary, we may need to take radiographs (x-rays) of the teeth to help our diagnosis. Prompt treatment is always recommended, as untreated decay will spread deeper and eventually destroy the nerve within your tooth, resulting in an abscess and potential tooth loss.

What can I expect from the treatment process?

Having a Dental Filling is a routine and straightforward procedure. Your dentist will start by numbing the treatment area using a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable for you. Then the broken or decayed parts of the tooth are cleaned away to leave solid, healthy tooth structure. A high-quality filling material is then used to carefully restore the tooth. After the filling has set firm, your dentist will check your bite and reshape the material if necessary. Once a proper fitting has been made, the filling will be polished to smooth its surface.

What are the different types of filling materials?

The three main materials used are:

  • Amalgam: A strong and durable filling made from a mixture usually containing mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It is silver-coloured so is usually used on back teeth. It does not adhere to tooth structure, so undercuts have to be shaped into the tooth for retention. Being metallic they can tarnish and blacken over time, but can also be polished again.
  • Composite: These tooth-coloured restorations are made from a blend of powdered glass quartz/silica, ceramic particles, and a resin base. They can be matched in shade to your natural tooth – ideal for teeth that are visible when you smile. They chemically bond onto tooth structure using a bonding layer, meaning filling shaping can be kept minimal to preserve healthy tooth. After sculpting the material into place, your dentist will set the composite hard using a special light.
  • Glass Ionomer: A tooth-coloured material, formed by mixing silicate glass powder with mild acid liquid. The resulting compound chemically bonds to the tooth by itself, so can be applied quickly and easily, making it a good choice for children. They can also release fluoride to the surrounding tooth to prevent further decay. However, they are not as hard-wearing as amalgam or composite fillings.

Two other options are available to restore cavities, these are made by a dental technician after the tooth has been shaped, so usually take two visits to complete. (Please see section on Dental Inlays and Onlays)

  • Gold: Gold fillings can last a long time as they are very strong, but they are comparatively expensive. They maintain their polish very well and are kind to surrounding teeth.
  • Ceramic/Porcelain: For a natural-looking filling with very high strength compared to a composite. May be chosen when the cavity may be too big for a composite.

The Dental Filling material used will generally depend on the location of the tooth and the shape of the cavity/damage. We will also take into account your preference and advise when this may not be possible.

How do I look after my tooth after Dental Filling?

Having a filling in a tooth does not mean that further decay cannot occur. You should continue to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth at the end of the day as part of your normal routine; whilst minimising consumption of sugary or acidic food and drink. If you are a high decay risk, we may recommend fluoride supplements and regular visits to our hygienist.

To protect against sports injury, we always advise a custom-fitted gumshield. To protect against teeth grinding or clenching habits we can make protective bite-guards.

For further information, or to arrange a consultation, please call Cirencester Dental and Aesthetics now on 01285 653 251 to speak to one of our Team.

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Cirencester Dental & Aesthetics

42a Querns Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1RH

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Contact 01285 653 251