Dental fillings are one of the most regular dental procedures. Its principal function is to treat a cavity by removing the decayed area and filling the space with a medicated material where the decay has been removed. A filling is also performed to restore cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have undergone much wear and tear. The procedure is a painless one and does not take more than an hour.
What is the use of Dental Filling?
- Dental fillings help restore the tooth’s shape and strength, making it easy to chew and bite.
- It prevents damage, decay, and the loss of a tooth.
- Only the enamel is affected without the inner pulp of the teeth where the blood vessels and nerves are present. The dental fillings can fill the cracks formed only on the enamel.
- It helps repair an injured or broken tooth whose enamel has been exposed to damage and decay.
- The worn-out or eroded teeth are restored.
What are the various kinds of Dental Fillings?
Some of the most commonly used material that is used for fillings includes the following:
- Composite resin or tooth-colored fillings: These fillings are a mixture of powdered glass and plastic resin, and they are used to fill the top of the teeth and look very similar to the replaced original tooth. They also discharge small quantities of fluoride that help reduce the risk of further tooth decay. The tooth-colored fillings are particularly well suited for the front teeth or visible portions of teeth.
- Silver-Color Fillings:These are metal amalgams that are a combination of mercury, silver tin, and copper. It is more durable and affordable than composite fillings.
- Porcelain Fillings: It is composed of silicon and oxygen and is often used as inlays on teeth. These filings are used to cover cavities that are large and in areas where maximum chewing force is required. It matches the natural tooth color.
- Gold Fillings:These fillings are composed of a mix of gold, copper, and other metals. It is costly but at the same time durable. It may also lead to increased sensitivity of the tooth. But it does not give a natural look. Gold fillings are manufactured in a dental lab after impressions of the tooth are taken.
- Glass Ionomer Fillings:These are also tooth-colored fillings but are not as strong as the composite fillings. They are made of acrylic and a type of glass composed of fluoride, which helps prevent cavities. It is mostly used for children and is more expensive than metal amalgams.
How are the Dental Fillings done?
The first step involves the dentist numbing the gums and the affected tooth with local anesthesia. The area to be filled is examined for decay or damage, and then the exact quantity of filling required to cover it is decided. The decay in the tooth is extracted, and the area is cleaned and dried. The cleaned portion is then filled with the filling material to restore the original condition of the tooth. If the decay is located close to the root, a liner made of glass or composite resin protects the nerve. A patient is made to bite hard to check if the fillings are comfortable.