Tooth decay and cavities are caused by a number of factors, such as sugary/acidic diets, bacteria, and poor oral hygiene. The tooth surface becomes soft and vulnerable, and left untreated the decay can penetrate deeper to the pulp, resulting in root canal treatment or extraction. To treat decay the cavity is removed and replaces with filling material such as amalgam or composite resin.
Types of dental fillings
Amalgam is one of the oldest and more reliable filling material. However because of the advancements in restorative material science, other materials have been developed that have similar properties to amalgam along with having the added benefit of being “tooth coloured”. Therefore this practice rarely uses dental amalgam and, if so, for very specific cases.
Composite dental fillings (white fillings) have proven to be the most popular method to restore decayed teeth. The composite resin is placed inside the cleaned out cavity and hardened using a curing light. The material has a natural tooth colour appearance, and shows excellent strength and durability that is comparable to amalgam. Resin fillings also bond better to the natural tooth than amalgam.
Gold inlays and onlays are very strong and durable. They are crafted in a laboratory to fit precisely within the tooth. While the most expensive option, gold inlays/onlays are one of the best ways to restore a tooth.