How To Tell If You Need a Dental Filling

Dental fillings can often be used to restore a tooth with a cavity, but there are different types of fillings that can be used to get the job done. Here, our Fort St. John dentists explain why you'd need a filling, and the different types of fillings to consider. 


What are dental fillings?

These restorations are used to restore the structure, function and appearance of a tooth that's been damaged or decayed, alleviating tooth pain you may be experiencing.

Why would I need a dental filling?

Different types of dental fillings can be used to fix fractures, cracks, or tooth decay. They help restore functionality to your tooth and in some circumstances, dental fillings can be used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile. 

What are some signs I may need a dental filling?

Although you should see a dentist to confirm whether you need a filling, here are some signs that you may have a cavity that needs a tooth filling. If you experience any of these, schedule an appointment with your dentist:

    1. Your feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your tooth.
    2. When you examine your teeth, you see a hole or dark spot. 
    3. Your tooth is broken or chipped. 
    4. Your tooth feels rough to the touch. 
    5. Food keeps getting stuck between certain teeth. 
    6. An existing tooth filling has broken or cracked. 
    7. You've lost a tooth filling and need a replacement.

    What are dental fillings made of?

    Dental fillings can be made of various materials, from amalgam to composite, porcelain and gold. While each of these materials is safe and long-lasting, they also each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to repairing a cavity or decay. Here, our dentists provide advice on how to make the right dental choice for you. 

    Porcelain Fillings for Strength & Appearance

    Also called inlays and onlays, porcelain fillings are brittle, hard, and made in combination with metal. Made in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist to place, these strong, tooth-coloured dental restorations are typically used on molars as they are more durable and longer lasting than a regular dental filling. 

    You’ll usually need to attend two dental appointments so your porcelain filling can be placed in your mouth.

    Composite Fillings for a Natural Look & Feel

    Since composite fillings are very similar in colour to natural teeth, they tend to blend in well with the surrounding teeth.

    They look and feel natural, and are popular with patients who are concerned with how amalgam (grey) fillings may appear on teeth that are visible when they smile.

    Dentists like composites because they are easy to sculpt and shape onto a tooth, and bond naturally to a tooth. This means your dentist won’t need to remove as much existing enamel when preparing the tooth.

    Your dentist will remove tooth decay and add bonding material to the inside of the hole so the filling can be placed. Composite resin is then layered in the hole.

    A curing light is used to harden each layer. When the last layer of resin has hardened, the filling will be carefully shaped to match your natural teeth.

    Gold Fillings for Durability 

    Cast gold fillings are made using a model of your tooth. Created from a mix of gold combined with other materials such as copper and silver, a cast gold filling is created in a dental lab and sent back to your dentist.

    It will then be cemented in place inside your mouth. Though this type of filling is considered the most durable (typically lasting 20 years or more) it is also the most costly. You'll also require at least two dental appointments to have it placed.

    To find out which dental fillings are available at Alaska Avenue Dental and schedule an appointment, contact our Fort St. John dentists today.

    Full-Family, Full-Life Dental Care

    At Alaska Avenue Dental, we are here for you and your family... for life. Whether you simply need a regular check-up and hygiene, you believe you need a filling or crown, or you or your children may need orthdontic care, we are your one-stop dental practice in Fort St. John, BC.

    General Dentistry  Cosmetic Services  Orthodontics  Dental Implants 

    Tips for a Healthy Smile from the Alaska Avenue Dental Team

    Testimonials, Alaska Avenue Dental, Fort St. John, BC

    • Sugar plays a big role in the development of cavities. Avoid foods with 'hidden' sugars, like crackers, processed food, and milk. Brushing twice daily, swishing with water or chewing sugarless gum after meals can reduce the harmful of effect sugar on your teeth.
      - Terri, Hygienist

    Looking for a healthier smile? Contact the Alaska Avenue Dental team today!

    (250) 787-1606