A dental filling is intended to replace tooth structure lost to decay.  Dental fillings may last many years; however, eventually all fillings need to be replaced.  Constant assault on your teeth from everyday life such as eating and drinking, or stress from clenching or grinding, eventually may causes a dental filling to fail.

In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural colour of their teeth.  Ceramic fillings, or tooth-coloured fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing.  They can be used on either the front or back teeth.  They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.

It generally takes longer to place a ceramic filling than it does for a metal filling.  That’s because ceramic fillings require the tooth to be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled.  Tooth coloured fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics.

Regular dental examinations are important because problems with existing fillings generally can be detected in the early stage.  Dental x-rays may need to be taken to help detect decay under existing dental fillings or between teeth.  If your dentist finds evidence that your dental filling needs replacing, it should be replaced promptly.  Don’t wait until the tooth hurts or a crack appears in the filling of the tooth.  Early detection and treatment can minimise the need for extensive and more costly procedures.

Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling.  Prevention is better than cure.  You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Visiting the dentist regularly

You can determine the ultimate decision about what is best for you, in your consultation.  Before your treatment begins, discuss with your dentist the different materials and possibilities to find your personal preferred solution.