Often there are no symptoms of caries or tooth decay! However symptoms that indicate you may need a dental filling (also known as restorations) can include, but are not limited to, sensitivity of the tooth to pressure or sugary foods, toothache or pain (can be a sharp or throbbing pain), a hole in the tooth that you can see or feel, or floss that keeps tearing in a particular spot.
It is important that you regularly see a dentist because not all decay and problems give rise to any symptoms or pain. In fact, most start silently in the early stages and if picked up early can mean a simple, cost-effective and less invasive treatment instead of a more expensive and complex procedure if left untreated.
What types of fillings are there?
When new cavities need attention, or old fillings need replacement, you have a number of choices for the type of filling to be used:
Composite or White fillings
Composite fillings are by far the most popular fillings in Australia because of their excellent natural appearance and strength. A composite filling is selected to match the colour of your teeth as closely as possible. They are almost impossible to detect and are an excellent replacement for stained, chipped or leaking fillings.
Inlays or Onlays
Can be gold or porcelain. Porcelain is a ceramic material that is matched to the tooth colour to provide a cosmetic result. It is a material designed for use on back teeth, and is cemented into the tooth cavity with a special, powerful adhesive that increases the strength of the bond. The porcelain filling is extremely strong and wear resistant. It can last indefinitely, provided you do not get a new cavity underneath it, or abuse your teeth.
I have a black filling, can my dentist replace it?
If you have a black filling it is most likely amalgam, which a majority of dentists can replace in one simple appointment. Whether you would like your amalgam filling replaced for health, functionality or cosmetic reasons, you will love the look and feel of your tooth once you have it replaced with a white material.