If your tooth develops a hole due to decay, your dentist will give you the option of getting it filled. There are a variety of fillings available depending on your criteria.
Why should I get a filling?
Cavities caused by decay are painful. The exposed inner tooth becomes packed with food and bacteria which inflames the surrounding gum, and if untreated, the tooth begins to rot away. If you have a hole in your tooth, immediate and effective treatment is required to prevent the entire tooth from being lost.
What sort of fillings can I get?
There are a few types of fillings available.
Composite, or tooth-coloured fillings are the same colour as your teeth and so are a popular choice for the front of the mouth. They are slightly more complicated than silver fillings, so may take your dentist longer to fit, and as they care considered a cosmetic treatment, are not available on the NHS. However, they are discrete and almost unnoticeable when done.
These are the most common types of fillings. They are resistant to wear and tear and in general, last longer than composite fillings. They are inexpensive and easy to fit. However, their colour makes them highly noticeable, and are often used at the back of the mouth.
Are there any alternatives to fillings?
‘Adhesive dentistry’ is an alternative that involves bonding the filling to the tooth. The dental team remove less of the tooth, which is obviously better.
Other alternatives include crowns and inlays, although they can cost a lot more. Veneers can be used on front teeth instead of crowns or fillings.