The most common reason for having a filling is as a result of tooth decay
. Very early decay can be reversed to return a tooth to normal, without need for a filling in certain circumstances, but as a general rule, if the decay is into dentine, (the second layer of your tooth) or you are getting symptoms, it will need a filling. Where do you get dental decay?
Well, theoretically anywhere, but it is most often starts either on the patterns on the top of your tooth,or in-between your teeth and is a result of a poor diet
, not enough fluoride
and inadequate cleaning especially FLOSSING
Some of you have teeth in certain positions or patterns on the biting surface of your teeth that make cleaning more difficult and so you are more prone to decay. I also believe some of you are simply more resistant to decay than others and therefore less likely to have problems. This is probably a result of how effective your saliva is at buffering the acid and how potent the bacteria are in your mouth.
Sometimes tooth wear
will make a filling necessary. This could be as a result of over brushing
(having too much acid in your diet or gastric reflux) or attrition
(grinding/bruxism). Whatever the cause of the tooth wear, the role of the filling is more of a protective one- to seal the exposed dentine which is more prone to dental decay than enamel; to stop plaque building up on uneven surfaces and reduce any sensitivity you may be experiencing.
You may also need a filling for aesthetics reasons. If you have chipped or broken a tooth, a simple filling can restore both its natural look and use. If you have a discoloured area on a tooth or exposed root, a filling can help improve the appearance by covering up the unsightly area. Some tooth may need to be removed to do this and your dentist will need to assess if this is the best way for you to improve your situation. Composite fillings can also be used for cosmetic bonding procedures.
- A previous filling has failed
Reasons may include; dental caries getting around the margin, part of the filling or tooth fracturing, excessive wear, or the filling is no-longer satisfactory from a cosmetic viewpoint.