Many people suffer from decay every once in a while and this decay may cause serious health problems and damage to the teeth and leave very small holes (cavity) in the tooth. Thus, when a dentist removes decay from teeth it must be filled not to be exposed to germs.
To treat the cavity your dentist must first remove the decay and then start filling the area where decays removed from.
Fillings can also be used to repair and treat broken teeth or teeth that have been through different damages.
So how are the fillings applied?
What steps are involved in the filling process?
At first, the dentist must numb or drug the area around the tooth not to feel any pain when removing the decay. Then, the dentist will remove the decay using a dental drill or a laser dental tool. The dentist may need to use both tools according to the location and extent of the decay.
Before moving to the next step, the dentist must test if any decay still exists and make sure that all decay has been removed. Next, the dentist will prepare the space for filling by cleaning the cavity of any bacteria or germs and if the decay was located near the root of the tooth, the dentist might need to put a liner made of glass or resin or different materials to protect the root.
The dentist then will start the filling process layer by layer and the filling material should match your teeth color and after the filling is done the dentist will start polishing and shaping the filling material to the desired result.
How many types of filling materials are available?
Today, there are many types of dental filling materials exists.
For example, teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, resin, plastic, and many more materials. The costs of dental filling materials, the location of decay, health insurance, and the medical history can influence on determining what material to use. Thus, such a decision must be determined with the dentist or dental team.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of some dental filling materials:
Silver filling material
- Last for 10 to 15 years according to the clarity of the material
- high strength and withstand chewing and biting force.
- usually cost less than other material such as gold.
- color does not match teeth color.
- needs more space to fit in the tooth so it may require more drilling.
- most importantly, it may cause some crack when expanding by heat and it may cause pains especially when the decay is located near the root.
- some people may suffer from allergies.
- Does not match the teeth color but some people consider the golden color an advantage.
- Expensive, to be honest way more expensive than other materials.
- Requires several dental visits
- in case of filling gold next to silver it can cause serious pain because of the interaction between metals.
- last for a long time, up to 15 years.
- also high strength and withstand chewing force.
Tooth-Colored Composite fillings
- the color matches the teeth color and looks natural like a real tooth.
- this type of filling place perfectly within the space or cavity and can be polished and shaped to match the tooth shape.
- composite materials can also be used to repair a broken tooth.
- Compared to other types, composite fillings require less tooth structure which is a very important advantage.
- composite fillings do not last for a long time compared to gold or silver, they live up to 5 to 6 years.
- composite fillings may take more time in a dental visit to be applied, approximately 30 minutes longer.
- in some specific cases, composite filling may require several additional dental visits.
- accordion to the location, composite filling may can chipp of the teeth.
- surprisingly, the composite fillings can cost twice the silver fillings.
Still, there are other types of fillings such as ceramics or glass, they also have their own advantages and disadvantages. Thus, it is very important to consult your dentist or dental team before taking any decision. Selecting the appropriate material is a very important matter.
Indirect fillings are similar to other fillings only made in a dental laboratory. It is used when there is not enough structure of a tooth to hold the fill. Usually, the indirect fillings need two or three dental visits because during the first visit the dentist will clean the teeth and take an impression of them then will send the impression to the dental laboratory to make the indirect fillings.
During the second visit, the dentist will apply the indirect fillings to the teeth. An additional visit may be needed later.
There are two types of indirect fillings. Inlays and Onlays.
The best dental treatment is what your dentist offers for your special sicuation. If your dentist find filling suitable in your condition so he would also suggest which material would be the best and fit for you.