FILLINGS

Fillings replace the material loss of tooth surface due to caries (decay), erosion, abrasion, or fracture. They, in turn protect the nerve and reduce the need for further interventions such as root canal treatment or extraction. There are many materials and preventative techniques available and most common are Amalgam, Glass Ionomer Cement or Composite Resin

Dental Amalgam

Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. While mercury is known to cause adverse reactions in humans on its own, scientific evidence shows that it is harmless when mixed with other components to form dental amalgam.

Pros

• Durability and ease of use
• Longevity
• Strength
• Forms a better long-term seal with the tooth structure

Cons

• Silver in colour
• May need additional removal of tooth structure
• Possible allergies

Composite Resin

Composite resin is made of silicate/glass filler material, bound together by a monomer.

Pros

• Tooth-coloured
• Strength
• Bonds to the tooth
• Versatile - as a filling replacing lost tooth structure or for cosmetic improvements such as composite bonding

Cons

• Long term success is dependent on post-operative care
• May be unsuitable for fillings that extend deep under the gum

Glass Ionomer Cement

Glass Ionomer Cement is composed of glass particles surrounded by matrix of fluoride.

Pros

• Releases fluoride
• Tooth-coloured
• Versatility - can be used as a lining, filling material or to cement crowns

Cons

• Not as strong as composite resin or amalgam
• Sensitive to moisture
• Often used as a temporary filling material