Dental fillings use restorative materials to repair any teeth that have been compromised due to trauma or cavities. There are several different types of fillings that can be used to fill a cavity, but the final decision on which type of filling is placed in your mouth is yours alone.
We provide you with many options for fillings including metal fillings, composite and glass ionomer (white) fillings and porcelain fillings.
Amalgam fillings are sometimes called “silver” fillings. They are the most common type of filling used in Canada today. These fillings are used to restore back teeth because these fillings are silver in colour. They are a mix of metals such as mercury, silver, copper and tin.
Cast gold fillings are based on a model (or cast) of your tooth. Cast gold fillings are a mixture of gold with other metals such as silver and copper. These other metals make gold fillings more durable. A cast gold filling is made in a dental lab and sent back to Dr. Steffens, who cements it in place in your mouth. You will need at least two visits to Dr.S to get the job done. During the first visit, she cleans out all the decay and makes a mold of your tooth. The preparation is filled with a temporary filling. Meanwhile, in a dental lab, the mold of your tooth is used to make a model. A filling that is the same size and shape as your tooth is built, based on the model. When you go back to her a few weeks later, the gold filling is cemented in place
Composite fillings are also known as white fillings. They are the same colour as your natural tooth. To place this filling, Dr. Steffens removes all of the tooth decay and applies a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the preparation. Composite resin is put into the preparation in thin layers. Each layer gets hard with the help of a special light that she holds over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, she shapes the filling so it looks great and feels natural.
Glass ionomer materials are only used in teeth where you do not bite down hard. There have not been many studies about how long this type of filling lasts. Newer forms of the filling may be stronger and last longer. Research is in progress to evaluate the effectiveness of these materials.
Porcelain materials are the most common type of dental ceramic used by dentists. They are hard and brittle. Porcelain and metal can be combined to make a strong, tooth-coloured crown. Dental porcelain is made in a dental laboratory. Unless you have a bad tooth-grinding habit or some other problem, a combination of porcelain and metal may be used anywhere in the mouth.