Used to prevent the progression of decay or to repair your teeth following development of a cavity, one of the most time-tested and familiar general dental procedures meets the forefront in discreet ‘filling’ material available to modern dentistry.
While white, composite resin fillings are not a new invention, it is only in recent years that the technology and the material’s fabrication has advanced to the point that it is now almost as long-lasting and durable as a traditional silver amalgam filling. Due to Composite’s many advantages over silver or metal amalgam in terms of natural appearance, subtlety, effectiveness, and overall quality, today these are the only form of fillings we are proud to place for all of our patients. Your dentist will consult with you and assess your natural smile to expertly choose the shade of composite which flawlessly matches your original tooth, and they will replicate the natural shape, contour, and appearance of your tooth so nobody will ever notice anything is different.Book online
A dental filling restores the full function, strength, and shape of missing or damaged tooth structure. While cracks or chips to our teeth can occur as a result of accident or trauma, in the vast majority of cases damage to our teeth is caused by everyday wear (or misuse such as a nail-biting or tooth grinding habit) or dental decay. This is caused by the sticky film of bacteria (known as plaque) which naturally forms over our teeth, feeding on the sugars present in the foods we eat which causes them to produce acid. This build-up of plaque and the constant eating away at the tooth’s enamel is the process known as tooth decay.
If left unchecked, decay can fester and eat away until a hole (or cavity) is formed in your tooth. Tooth decay is not a painful process, and so many patients will not even be aware that they may require a filling, unless there is an obvious change to the shape of their tooth caused by a deep cavity, or a piece of the tooth chips off. Indeed, a key importance of maintaining a regular, 6-monthly Dental Check-Up routine is so that your dentist can monitor for signs of decay, as by the time you are experiencing pain from decay or a cavity, it has already penetrated deep into the tooth, and has or is about to reach the nerve. Once the inner pulp of your tooth is infected by decay, more extensive intervention and treatment is required to attempt to save the tooth, and even with expert dental care the damage may be too far gone, and the tooth may be lost.
Dental fillings are a simple but powerful routine treatment to stop tooth decay in its tracks. Following a thorough removal of all current decay from your tooth, your dentist will then seal the cavity left in your infected tooth with a white, Composite dental filling, restoring its original shape, integrity, and durability. Once caught in time, a well-cared for filling can safeguard your tooth from any further complications, allowing you to retain your natural tooth and full functionality and appearance for many years to come. If your dentist recommends a filling, don’t delay; a small cavity can rapidly become a big problem. Avoid pain, lengthy dental procedures, and costly, invasive treatments and get on top of your oral health today!
Your dentist will carry out a comprehensive dental exam to assess your teeth, gums, and bone levels. If there is evidence of tooth decay found, they will also take dental X-rays to help diagnose and determine the extent of the decay.
If the damage is not found to penetrate too deeply into the inner root of your tooth, and the nerve has not been affected, your dentist will be able to discuss your suitability for routine, effective treatment with a Composite filling, and address any questions or concerns you have at this stage, while providing you with a full treatment plan, including a complete breakdown of the costs.
You will be scheduled in for your return appointment to have your filling placed before you leave the clinic on the day of your consultation, and depending on the size, depth, and number of cavities or damage involved. Subject to dentist availability, it may be possible to begin or complete your treatment on the same day. Following your procedure to restore your tooth with a filling, you will be given detailed instructions of how to care for your tooth and maintain your filling-repaired tooth for many years into the future, including the adoption of a regular Dental Check-Up visit.
Your dentist will use a highly effective local anaesthetic to ensure your mouth is completely numb before beginning any treatment, so the procedure will be entirely pain free. You will only experience a sensation of pressure and some pushing for the duration of your treatment visit.
The shade of composite will then be expertly chosen to match exactly with your natural tooth, so it will blend in seamlessly.
Once satisfied that your mouth is numb and you are comfortable, your dentist will begin by using a small dental drill to clean the inside of your tooth and remove all areas damaged by decay.
Once fully free of decay, your tooth is then prepared with a mild acid and dental cement which acts to bond the composite securely in place. The Composite material will then be placed gradually in stages, with each layer hardened at different intervals using a blue light.
The final surface of your new Composite filling is then polished to shape it to the unique contours of your original tooth and to match the surrounding teeth, as well as ensure it will feel nice and smooth to your tongue. Finally, your dentist will test out your overall bite with your filling in place, and once happy that your bite is even you are free to go!
There are no absolute age limits to be treated with a Composite filling, which alongside the unfortunate common occurrence of dental decay, is one of the reasons this procedure is a mainstay of general dentistry. All materials used during the procedure are entirely safe, and Composite fillings can be used effectively and safely in any patient at any age.
However there are a range of alternative dental solutions available, should your tooth not be suitable for treatment via Composite filling. Sometimes after your dentist has removed all of the decay attacking your tooth, with especially deep or permeating cavities there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to successfully support a composite filling. If this is the case your dentist will recommend either a Dental Onlay or a Dental Crown, both of which are more durable restorations again than fillings, and reinforce the natural tooth structure in different ways, and the lifespan of your tooth may be prolonged with one of these alternatives.
Not at all, your dentist will ensure that the area is totally numb prior to starting any treatment. At most all you will feel is some gentle vibrations and pressure from the dental tools in use.
In the majority of cases, it is unusual to experience any discomfort after a Composite filling procedure. If your filling is particularly deep it is more likely that you will have some slight sensitivity while the tooth settles. This is nothing to worry about, and your dentist will always prepare you for this temporary sensation if you are at risk of this.
The good news is that your Composite filling will be completely set by the time you leave the clinic! However, we do recommend that you not eat until your local anaesthetic has fully worn off, which usually takes approximately 4 hours. This is to ensure that you do not accidentally bite or burn your lips, cheeks, or tongue by attempting to eat or chew while your mouth is still numb.
While every individual, every case, and every filling is different, your dentist will let you know of any exceptions to be aware of for your treatment. For most patients you can expect the majority of Composite fillings to last for at least 10 years.
To harness the full potential of your newly restored tooth and prolong its maximum lifetime while also safeguarding and protecting the rest of your teeth, you should commit to maintaining a habit of excellent oral hygiene – brushing twice per day and flossing daily. As part of this, eating a balanced diet which is low in sugar will reduce your overall risk of decay.
It is also essential to attend your dentist and hygienist at 6-monthly intervals to monitor the health of your smile, and catch signs of tooth and gum disease or recurrent dental decay, before any of these issues can lead to more pervasive or serious problems.
Traditionally, metal amalgam fillings were considered the stronger and more durable material of the two. However, in recent years the technology used in Composite (white) fillings has come on enormously, firmly establishing them as the material of choice at Dame Street Dental.
While both amalgam and Composite fillings are completely safe for you and your body, the natural, lifelike appearance of Composite fillings has given them the edge and their ability to be perfectly colour-matched to your own smile is preferred by dentists and patients alike.
At Dame Street Dental we provide modern and effective treatment in state-of-the-art facilities. Our team understand that even routine dental treatment can be daunting, and we will do everything in our power to make your experience a positive one to remember.
We are proud to be the only clinic in Ireland to offer a full 10 year warranty on the majority of Composite fillings, so you can trust us to provide you with superior, long-lasting treatment that is both cost-effective and delivered to the highest possible standard.
At Dame Street Dental our Composite fillings start at €120 per tooth.
We believe in complete transparency when it comes to the cost of your treatment and a full breakdown of all costs will be provided to you during your initial consultation as part of your dentist’s treatment plan. Our team will be more than happy to discuss any questions you may have at any time, to make sure that you leave our clinic smiling.
Suffering with new or persistent pain or sensitivity? Or ready to get back on track with an initial dental check-up?