White Fillings in Townsville
White fillings can be used to treat a number of dental problems. They’re most commonly used to fill cavities when a tooth has been damaged by decay, but they can also repair small chips and fractures in teeth, rebuild teeth that have been worn down and restore the strength of a tooth after a root canal treatment.
You might need a filling if your tooth feels painful or has increased sensitivity to temperature. If you have a toothache that lasts for more than a few days, or you experience other pain and discomfort, make an appointment to see our dentists.
We’ll give you a complete oral health assessment to check the condition of your teeth and gums, including dental x-rays to see below the gum line. If we spot any tooth decay or other signs of damage, we may recommend placing a filling or discuss other treatments.
You have a choice of two types of white fillings at our Townsville clinic. Both options are colour-matched to your teeth for a natural-looking appearance, and each has its pros and cons. They are:
White composite fillings use a composite resin made from plastic and glass that’s coloured to blend in with your teeth. These are the most versatile fillings, as they can be used to treat small or large cavities as well as to fill small chips and cracks.
The downside of composite resin fillings is that they’re less durable than porcelain and usually don’t last as long before they need to be replaced. As they’re not as strong as porcelain, we don’t recommend these fillings for back teeth that are put under greater pressure when chewing.
Unlike composite fillings, which are built up directly in the mouth, porcelain fillings are custom-made based on detailed images of your teeth, then bonded into place. These fillings are made from pressed ceramic and are normally used to fill moderate to large cavities or to strengthen a cracked or weakened tooth.
Porcelain fillings are stronger and longer-lasting than composite fillings, and their translucent appearance is a closer match to tooth enamel. This also means they cost more, which can make them less suitable for some patients.
At North Queensland Family Dental, we use CEREC technology that can manufacture and place custom porcelain fillings in a single appointment.
CEREC fillings are a modern innovation in dental technology. The system combines computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture (CAD & CAM) to produce custom all-ceramic fillings in the precise dimensions needed.
Your dentist will design your filling using CEREC’s 3D digital imaging software and send this design to a milling machine located on-site at our dental clinic. The finished filling is then sculpted out of a ceramic block that’s been specially selected to match the colour of your teeth. The process takes around 15 minutes.
Depending on your situation, CEREC fillings can usually be completed in a single visit to our dental clinic. This avoids the waiting time involved with traditional porcelain crowns, which need to be manufactured off-site at a dental laboratory.
White fillings are one of the most routine dental procedures and suitable for patients of all ages. We’ll make sure you know exactly what’s involved in the treatment and discuss any alternatives so you can make a fully informed decision.
During your treatment appointment, we’ll use local anaesthesia to numb pain in the area around the tooth being treated. If you have anxiety about dental treatments, we can discuss more sedation options to help you feel calm and relaxed.
If you have tooth decay, we’ll open the cavity using a drill to access the infected site. Decayed tissue will be removed and the cavity disinfected and prepared for the filling. This may involve reshaping the enamel and etching the surface to make bonding easier.
If you choose a porcelain filling, we’ll take images of your mouth and use these to produce your custom CEREC filling on-site. Once the filling has been milled and polished, we can bond it into place.
If you choose a composite filling, we’ll apply composite resin directly to the cavity and harden it using a bright light. We’ll then polish the filling for a smooth and natural-looking finish.
Unless you chose sedation, you should be able to resume your normal activities on the same day your filling was placed. You should try to avoid sugary food and drink and smoking while your tooth is healing, and you should keep up with your normal brushing and flossing routine.
Side-effects and complications from fillings are uncommon, but you may experience pain when applying pressure to the tooth, which may last up to a few days, or increased sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink, which can last up to a few weeks.
Yes. If you have ‘silver’ amalgam fillings and you want to replace these with more natural-looking white fillings, we may be able to complete this procedure in a single appointment. Our dentists are experienced in the safe handling and disposal of fillings containing potentially harmful mercury.
If you’ve lost a filling or it’s come loose, contact us as soon as possible. We’re on call for dental emergencies that may take place outside of normal business hours.
When you call our emergency team, we’ll advise you how to protect your oral health and reduce the chance of further problems developing until we have a chance to see you and replace your filling.