If we see signs of decay in your teeth, we would often recommend a filling to restore it.
Nowadays, we most commonly use tooth-coloured fillings for both front and back teeth to make sure your teeth look good as well as being functional.
For most fillings we would use local anaesthetic to numb the area before treatment. Appointments often take 20-40 minutes.
The average lifespan of a filling is around 10-12 years
If your teeth fracture, or are heavily weakened, we may recommend a crown to help restore the tooth. A crown is a shell which fits over the tooth and helps to strengthen it.
For teeth which have broken away completely, we may also fit a post into the root to support a crown.
We can use various materials to make crowns, from cosmetic metal-free porcelain to get the best appearance for front teeth, to high-strength zirconia or even gold for back teeth. You can read more about crown materials here.
We usually carry out crown treatments over 2 appointments. At the first, we shape and prepare the tooth ready for the crown under anaesthetic. We take impressions of the teeth and fit a temporary crown. A dental technician will then custom make a crown for your tooth, which we fit at the second visit.
Infected or abscessed teeth are often painful but not always. We always recommend treating an abscess because even the pain-free ones can potentially flare up with significant pain, swelling or, in the worst case scenario, sepsis.
We would always try to save a tooth if it is feasible to do so, and this usually means carrying out a root canal filling.
Root canal fillings are carried out under local anaesthetic, usually in a single appointment lasting 45-90 minutes. For more complex cases we may need a second appointment.
The vast majority of root canal filling treatments are completely pain free.
Root canal fillings have a success rate of around 80% at 10 years.
Alternatively, we may extract the tooth if you choose to do so, if it is not feasible to save the tooth, or if a previous root canal filling has failed.