A filling replaces the part of a tooth lost to decay or trauma. The filling materials we use are normally glass ionomer or composite which are white, tooth coloured filling materials.
Often under local anaesthetic, the decay is removed from your tooth and the cavity is shaped using a small high speed drill. Sometimes any old filling material will be removed too. We then wash and dry the tooth by blowing water and then air onto it before isolating the tooth to keep it dry.
An adhesive is used which is applied in two or three stages before the filling material, a bright light shone on the tooth cures and sets, makes your tooth look almost new. Any trimming or polishing will complete the filling and will ensure your bite is unaffected.
As with white filings the materials used to restore teeth, teeth which have been misshapen by perhaps a fall or a sporting accident, use an adhesive to stick or bond the material to return the tooth to its natural shape. It is fine not necessary to use a local anaesthetic as the preparation for etched retained fillings is minimal and only requires a slight 'roughing' of the surface to aid retention.
Etching acid is applied to the roughened tooth surface and left for a short time. The tooth is washed with a jet of water, this is sucked out of your mouth by a tube held by one of our dental nurses, before drying the surface. Sometimes the tooth may need etching again in exactly the same way. A bonding agent (glue) is applied to the roughened surface before the filling material is placed, trimmed and polished to restore your tooth.
Veneers, inlays or onlays are also etched retained restorations and will be considered in suitable situations.