What is a Filling?
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. We gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Which Type of Filling is Best?
No one type of filling is best for everyone. What’s right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Considerations for different materials include:
- Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.
Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. We also X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.
Several methods to determine if you have tooth decay (caries):
- •Observation — Some discolored spots on your teeth may indicate decay
- Cavity-detecting dye — This can be rinsed over your tooth. It will stick to decayed areas and rinse cleanly from healthy ones.
- X-rays — X-rays can show decay developing in the enamel on the sides of teeth where they come together, as well as in the dentin that lies under the enamel. X-rays are often not accurate in detecting smaller cavities on occlusal (top) surfaces. Current Fillings or other restorations also may block the view of decay.
- Laser fluorescence cavity detection aids — These small wands measure changes caused by caries. They are especially useful for pit and fissure areas on the top surfaces of your molar and premolar (chewing) teeth.
Decay is not the only reason you may need a filling. Other reasons include:
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Teeth that are worn from unusual use, such as:
- Tooth grinding (bruxism)
- Using your teeth to open things
There is chances for Temporary Fillings:
You may receive a temporary filling (usually white, off-white or gray) if:
- Your treatment requires more than one appointment.
- We wants to wait a short period of time for the tooth to heal.
- You have a deep cavity and the pulp (containing the nerve and blood vessels) becomes exposed during treatment.
- You need emergency dental treatment.
A temporary filling may make your tooth feel better. This is because the filling seals the tooth, protecting the pulp from bacteria and reducing sensitivity.
Temporary fillings are not meant to last. Usually, they fall out, fracture or wear out within a month or two. If you get a temporary filling, make sure you visit your us to get permanent one. If you don’t, your tooth could become infected or you could have other problems.
Steps to a Filling:
- You may be given local anesthesia to numb the area if necessary.
- Next, we will remove decay from the tooth, using a drill. Lasers also can be used to remove decay.
- A drill, which we call a handpiece, uses metal cones called burs to cut through the enamel and remove the decay. Burs come in many shapes and sizes. Your dentist will choose the ones that are right for the size and location of your decay.
- At first, we will use a high speed drill (the one with the familiar whining sound) to remove the decay and unsupported enamel of the tooth. Once the drill reaches the dentin, or second layer of the tooth,we use a lower speed drill. That’s because dentin is softer than enamel.
- Once all the decay is removed, we will shape the space to prepare it for the filling. Different types of fillings require different shaping procedures to make sure they will stay in place.We put in a base or a liner to protect the tooth’s pulp(where the nerves are). The base or liner can be made of composite resin, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, or another material.
- Some of these materials release fluoride to protect the tooth from further decay.
- Abandoning material also is used, so the filling bonds to the tooth in two ways. Bonded fillings can reduce the risk of leakage or decay under the filling. Bonding is generally done with composite fillings.
- Finally, after the filling is placed, we will use burs to finish and polish the tooth.
- Avoid mid meal snacking
- Brush twice daily – Once after dinner and second after breakfast with a fluoridated toothpaste
- You may try a new kind of toothpaste, one which contains Tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) which Comes under the brand name of Clinpro tooth creme by 3M
- You can even try using tooth mousse which contains ACP- CCP which rematerializes the teeth and prevent decay. But this contains Casein and if you are allergic to milk so don’t use it.
- Take a lot of fruits which contain fiber like apple – This will decrease the chances of decay by mechanically cleaning the teeth
- You may use some chewing gum which contains xylitol or bicarbonate. These gums not only reduce the chances of decay but also mechanically clean the teeth.
- Drink a lot of water if you have ropy saliva i.e. saliva which forms threads when it drools.
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