A filling is needed when bacteria in your mouth has caused a decay in your tooth. The decay is then removed and a filling is placed. However, a filling is only beneficial if it continues to protect the tooth. Over time some fillings may begin to have gaps in between and bacteria can easily get between the filling and the tooth and cause decay to occur underneath a ‘leaky’ filling.
The picture above shows an example of a ‘leaky’ mercury filling where bacteria can get between the filling and the tooth. When the filling was removed tooth decay can be seen underneath the old filling.
As in most dental diseases there usually is no sign that there is decay underneath a filling. Most people do not feel any sensation of having tooth decay. The first sensation only occurs when the decay has reached the nerve of the tooth. At that point pain sets in and at times can be very severe. The tooth then would either have to be removed or need a root canal treatment.
Filling materials of today can look extremely natural. Composites or porcelain can be used to fabricate undetectable fillings which lasts a long time. These materials are also kinder to the tooth and do not place heavy stresses on the tooth structure.
At DP Dental we don’t simply ‘fill’ your teeth we restore it back to its natural strength and beauty. For this reason we prefer to use the word Restorations rather than Fillings.
Do get your existing fillings checked regularly and have them changed to beautiful restorations if needed to ensure that your teeth are well protected!