3 Common Misconceptions About Dental Fillings That You’ve Probably Heard

Getting a dental filling is a simple and often necessary procedure to maintain the health of your teeth. A dental filling might be appropriate when your teeth have been damaged from tooth decay or trauma and the structure of one or more teeth needs repairing to prevent more problems later on. 

Although the procedure itself is straightforward, there are a few misconceptions regarding fillings that can lead to dental anxiety. Fortunately, our team is here to clear up any rumours that may prevent you from taking the necessary steps to look after your smile and health. 

Here are three of the most common misconceptions about dental fillings explained. 

Dental Fillings Are Highly Uncomfortable  

Many people fear that their visits to the dentist will cause them pain. However, the truth is that dental fillings are easy and the procedure is no longer uncomfortable to go through. 

Dentists today use local anaesthetics to make the filling process more comfortable. With the area numb, your teeth can be prepared for dental filling with little pain. The tooth may feel sensitive to temperature changes or when you eat for a few short days after receiving the filling – this quickly subsides.

If your filling still feels uncomfortable or painful after a week, even if you had the procedure at another dentist, please contact us immediately to have it inspected. 

Silver Fillings Need to Be Replaced With Composite Resin  

Amalgam fillings, often referred to as silver fillings, are made of a combination of silver, safe mercury, tin and copper. Some people believe that amalgam fillings should be replaced with a newer composite filling material out of fear that mercury can cause health issues.  

This is simply not true, and the Cancer Council of Western Australia even refers to multiple studies showing amalgam fillings do not cause harm. Replacing amalgam fillings unnecessarily can even damage your teeth. 

Composite fillings may be preferable as they can be coloured to match the surrounding teeth compared to the darker, metallic look of amalgam fillings. However, amalgam fillings serve an important role further back in the mouth where a much stronger and more durable material is required for chewing.

If Your Tooth Is Not Aching, You Don’t Need a Filling

If you aren’t making regularly scheduled trips to the dentist, then the first sign that something is wrong might be an aching sensation. Cavities in your teeth can form before any pain begins though and will only continue to worsen and create a larger problem which can then cause pain. 

Even if you aren’t experiencing any dental pain, you will need a dental filling to patch up cavities while they are small to prevent a bigger problem from developing. Because it can be difficult to see your cavities when they are small, it is important to stick to routine visits with your dentist so that cavities or dental trauma can be fixed right away. 

Here Are Some Facts About Dental Fillings!

To complement the misconceptions that we have cleared up regarding dental fillings, here are a couple of facts that will help you understand fillings a little more.

Dental Fillings Repair Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common problem experienced by people who have poor diets, poor dental hygiene, people who take certain medications and people who have some specific health issues like diabetes. When the bacteria in your mouth consumes sugars and carbohydrates, it produces acids as a by-product. These acids then eat away at your teeth, causing cavities and tooth decay

Food can then become stuck in these cavities and exacerbate the problem or cause an infection. By getting a dental filling that cleans and repairs the cavity, the hole is sealed shut to prevent further damage to the tooth and underlying tissue and bone structures.  

Dental Fillings Can Look Like Natural Teeth

While amalgam fillings can be visibly noticeable due to their metallic look, some filling materials can be coloured to match your existing teeth colour for a natural look. The most common material you are likely to encounter is called composite resin.  

Other types of dental filling material that can match your teeth colour include glass-ionomer cement and porcelain. 

Summary 

Some of the misconceptions and rumours that exist regarding dental fillings can make the procedure seem daunting. That is why you must have the right information to make informed decisions that protect your teeth.  

The dental filling procedure is not uncomfortable thanks to the use of local anaesthetics, amalgam fillings are not toxic and do not need replacing unnecessarily and you shouldn’t wait until your teeth hurt before getting a filling.  

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