Often cavities don’t express a lot of symptoms. Caused by the tooth decay process, which damages your teeth over time, catching a cavity early makes it much easier to repair. The risk of painful symptoms and other complications increases if tooth decay is left untreated. That’s why your Calgary dentist thoroughly examines your teeth during each regular checkup, even if you haven’t noticed a problem.
If a cavity is discovered, your dentist will use a dental filling to repair the damage. Fillings come in a variety of materials and styles, and depend on the location and severity of your cavity. The team at Dr. Loreen Wong Laser and Family Dentistry is here to guide you through each step of the way. We have extensive experience with Alberta health insurance providers and working out payment plans to fit any budget.
Direct fillings are applied directly to your tooth with a bonding agent, and can typically be completed in one visit. The process is relatively simple. First, a local anesthetic will be administered, so you won’t feel any pain throughout the process. Once the anesthetic takes effect, your Calgary dentist will remove any decay, and shape the cavity to prepare it for filling. The filling process varies slightly depending on the type of material used.
- Composite fillings are made of resin, which is applied in layers and hardened using a dental curing light. The result is a strong filling, which your Calgary dentist will shape to ensure maximum comfort. Composite fillings are durable and match the colour of natural teeth.
- Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride over time, making them an ideal choice for temporary fillings and teeth with recurring problems. These fillings match the colour of your existing teeth, and are recommended for use only in non-load-bearing teeth, per the CDA.
- Dental amalgam fillings are comprised of metals including silver, zinc, copper, tin, and mercury. Amalgam is very strong, which makes it effective for repairing cavities in teeth used heavily for chewing, however the benefits of composite fillings generally outweigh their use.
The Canadian Dental Association confirms that mercury levels in dental amalgam are completely safe, based on extensive studies.
Indirect fillings require multiple visits to complete, and are primarily used to repair teeth that have been severely damaged by decay. During the first visit, your Calgary dentist will clean all decay from the cavity and create a mold of the damaged tooth. A mold of your tooth is then sent to a dental lab, where a custom-fit crown or inlay is fabricated. When you return for your next visit, your dentist will check that the filling fits correctly, then attach it to your tooth with a bonding agent.
- Cast gold fillings are made from a mixture of gold and other metals, like silver and copper. These fillings are strong, long-lasting, and suitable for use on molars. Cast gold fillings cost more than other types, though their excellent durability mitigates the added upfront cost.
- Porcelain fillings are tooth-coloured, even when the porcelain material is blended with metal to create a stronger filling. They are more durable than most other types of fillings, and are versatile enough to be used in many areas of the mouth.
Prevention is still the best way to deal with cavities, but there’s nothing to fear about having a cavity filled if the need arises. Our team will help you select the right filling option, and ensure your comfort from start to finish. Building relationships is an important part of quality healthcare, and we truly value the trust our patients show by referring friends and family to Dr. Loreen Wong Laser and Family Dentistry. When you refer a new patient, we’d like to show our thanks with a free Spadent Whitening Kit for you, and one for the patient you referred.