A deep filling is required to fill a hole in the tooth, known as a dental cavity. Filling treatment isn’t a one-for-all. Sometimes, dental filling treatment can vary depending on several factors such as the material used and the size of the hole. Larger cavities will take longer to fill.
What Are The Available Materials For A Deep Filling?
The dentist will share the available materials to use for a deep filling.
- Silver Amalgams – Combined with mercury, silver, tin and copper. They are considered more durable and affordable than tooth-coloured fillings.
- Gold Fillings – Gold fillings are considered the strongest and most durable comprising of gold and copper. They are also the most expensive.
- Porcelain Fillings – A natural filling choice that’s durable and expensive but can be shaded to match your tooth colour.
- Composite (White Color) – Durable and resistant but typically have a shorter lifespan than Amalgam fillings.
Applying a small filling can take up to 20 minutes, but a larger filling makes take up to one hour. This depends on the complexity of the treatment that’s needed as well.
How Long Until A Deep Filling Is Set?
The material is a vital factor that depends on how long your deep filling will be set. It is expected that Amalgam fillings are set within 24 hours of having it fitted. It is quoted that Composite fillings are set in 1- to 2-millimetre-thick layers, and 20 seconds per layer.
Porcelain fillings typically harden within 24 hours after fitting. The dentist will recommend that you avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the filling is located.
How Long Do Deep Fillings Last?
How well you look after your veneers will say a lot regarding how long your filling will last. Gold and composite fillings can last up to 15 years, but this duration is dependent on how well you look after your filling with strong oral hygiene. This also goes for amalgam fillings, which are more delicate and last or up to 5 years.
Ensure that you brush your teeth carefully around the filling and avoid eating chewy and sticky foods that can catch onto your filling as this can expose the hold and even expand it, requiring you to visit the dentist for a replacement filling.
How Do I Know If I Need A Deep Filling?
Dental fillings are common but are not exactly painful. Although, you need to be aware of the following warning signs which may indicate you have a dental cavity:
- Sensitivity when eating hot and cold drinks
- Persistent toothache
- A hole in the tooth (the cavity)
- A stain on the tooth
If you’re showing any of these warning signs, consult your dentist immediately to get the hole in your tooth treated to avoid it getting progressively worse.