A Filling is a material that fills the opening that’s left after a decayed portion of a tooth has been removed. Fillings fall into three categories: amalgam, composite and GIC.
- Amalgam Fillings use an alloy (mixture) of mercury and other metals (such as silver, copper or tin) that is carved and contoured after placement in the tooth.
- Composite Fillings use a composite made of minute glass or ceramic particles that are mixed into a gel-like substance. The color of the substance is similar to that of a tooth. After it is applied to the tooth, the composite is hardened using a light that causes it to solidify almost instantly.
- GIC Fillings use a gel-like composite (mixture) made of minute glass particles. After it is applied to the tooth, it sets within five to 10 minutes. The composite bonds to the tooth and releases fluoride into the tooth for a period.
Root canal treatment (RCT) involves the removal of inflamed or diseased pulp from inside the tooth, to save the tooth. After the RCT, the patient must return for the placement of a crown. The crown strengthens the tooth and offers a seal that keeps contaminants out, thereby preventing the need for another RCT.