What are fillings?
The replacement of missing tooth structure caused by disease or trauma is possible in almost all situations, and this is termed a dental restoration, or filling. The aim of restorative treatment is to return appearance and function – including speech and chewing – to as normal as possible.
The dentists at our practice restore teeth with a number of available materials, including amalgam, tooth coloured materials such as composite resin, or glass ionomer cement, gold and porcelain inlays and crowns.
I’ve heard amalgam isn’t safe?
Despite what you may read on the Internet, amalgam remains a mainstay for fillings. All available research has demonstrated it to be safe, effective, strong and durable. It is a powdered alloy of silver, tin, copper, with trace amounts of zinc and indium mixed with amalgam to make the powder set. It does have limitations, including its colour, which is the main reason patients would prefer something that looks natural.
Crowns, Bridges and Other Considerations
If the entire tooth is missing then replacement with an implant, bridge or denture can be considered. When several teeth, or even all teeth are missing then implants, or a denture, can be used to restore appearance and function.
Endodontic treatment, or root canal therapy, can help save badly broken down teeth or teeth which have an infected pulp. In most circumstances, we would recommend the tooth be restored with a crown to increase its longevity.