A dental filling is a material placed in the tooth where enamel or dentin have been removed. The filling seals the internal area of the tooth from harmful effects. The most common reasons for needing a filling are tooth destruction from bacteria and small chips in teeth. The two most common filling materials are amalgam (“silver” or “metal “) and composite (“tooth-colored”, “white” or “resin”). Both filling materials are excellent, and the best choice depends on the size of the restoration, where it is in the mouth and the patient’s desires. Dr. Taylor will discuss the options and help you decide the right choice for you.
Dental fillings often last for many years; however, eventually the pressure from chewing and grinding cause the fillings to wear away, chip at the edges, crack and fall out. Where fillings have worn at the edges or pulled away from the tooth enamel and created even a tiny space, bacteria will enter and decay will develop. At this stage, the filling should be replaced. This will restore, seal and protect the integrity of the remaining tooth structure. Teeth with untreated decay and defective fillings are more likely to break and require more extensive treatment.