Broken Teeth and Cavities

If you have a cavity in your tooth from tooth decay or from other damage such as a chipped or fractured tooth it is recommended that your tooth is restored. Cavities get bigger over time, so the sooner they can be identified and fixed the better. Typically it is only when a decaying cavity is very large that it would develop symptoms of pain and a patient notice – this is why regular check ups are needed – to spot early problems and restore them whilst they are small. Without treatment, a cavity or fractured tooth can lead to pain, infection, or possibly loss of the whole tooth. Furthermore restoring a tooth improves your ability to chew and break down food – chewing is the important first step of digestion and extracting the nutrients from food.

For a small or moderate sized cavity, we will usually recommend a composite filling, or sometimes a silver filling. If a cavity is very large and much of the natural tooth has been lost, we will likely recommend a crown or onlay.

Learn more about Tooth Decay

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are sometimes referred to as ‘white’ fillings, however in actual fact they are tooth coloured and we will select a composite colour shade that is very similar to the colour of your own tooth shade, so that the filling is invisible or nearly invisible and looks like real tooth. The other benefits of composite are:

  • Composite is bonded to the natural tooth structure, helping to resist bacterial leakage and helping to hold the natural tooth together so that it does not fracture
  • In experienced hands, composite can be shaped to a similar shape to a natural tooth. Nature made the shape of our teeth both functional and beautiful, we will aim to emulate nature

At Triangle Dental we only use the highest quality composite material from reputable manufacturers. Take a look at some of our work.

Find out more about Composite Fillings

Silver Fillings

Silver fillings, or ‘amalgam’ fillings as we call them, have been around for almost 200 years and are still considered to be an excellent way of restoring teeth. Although more often than not these days we recommend the use of composite, every tooth situation in every mouth is different and there are times when we look at a tooth and we see that amalgam will be the better performing material in that situation. If you need a filling, your dentist will discuss with you which material will be best for you.

Crowns/Onlays

Crowns and Onlays are similar to each other and they become the treatment option of choice when a cavity is large and the underlying tooth is weak. They are made of very high strength materials, usually tooth coloured ceramics, and are very good at holding a natural tooth together and very resistant to breaking. In order to create space for a crown or onlay, your tooth is re-shaped by the dentist, and then a mould or a digital scan of the tooth is taken. This is then sent to a professional called a dental lab technician who will make the crown/onlay for us in their laboratory. It is then cemented onto your tooth by the dentist on another day. The difference between a crown and an onlay is that a crown covers the entirety of the natural tooth, whereas an onlay covers just the chewing surface of the tooth and only part of the side walls of the tooth. Where possible we prefer to do onlays rather than crowns as less tooth re-shaping is required so the process is kinder to the natural tooth, ultimately meaning that the tooth will survive for longer. There are many scenarios where an onlay is not possible and a crown is needed however. Your dentist will advise you on your particular situation.

Want to know more about dental crowns?