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When a tooth has a hole that is created by either tooth decay eating away at the tooth tissue or because a piece of enamel has broken off, the tooth cavity needs to be restored with a filling.

Apart from the discomfort derived from having the inner part of the tooth exposed to the elements, the darker inner part of the tooth looks unsightly and, most importantly, further deep decay can cause infections in the root leading to an abscess.

The two most commonly used filling materials used for teeth fillings are amalgam and composite.

Amalgam is silver in colour is made up of different metals which hardens when mixed with mercury. Their life expectancy is very good but bad press, associated with the worry of placing metals in the mouth, have caused a decline in their use. However, it should be noted that there is still no strong evidence to suggest that these filling materials are in any way deleterious to one’s health and there are still some situations where your dentist may safely recommend their use.

Composite materials on the other hand contain no metals and are tooth coloured. They come in a variety of shades that can be matched to your tooth so that they become almost invisible. When filling front teeth this presents an obvious advantage over the more traditional amalgam fillings. Furthermore, under good operating conditions, these tooth coloured materials are bonded to the tooth surface, thus providing a firmly held filling.

If you think you may have a hole in one of your teeth, or if you are experiencing sensitivity or pain that may be a result of a cavity, please contact your dentist to assess whether a filling is necessary. Click here to book an appointment online.



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