Dental filling, otherwise known as dental or tooth restoration, is the method by which dentists restore missing parts of the tooth structure or even a missing tooth. Dentist do it in such a way that the integrity, function, and morphology of the tooth structure remain intact. This process uses different types of dental restoration materials. A missing tooth structure supported by dental implants can also be restored through this procedure.
The Need for Tooth Restoration
Caries or dental cavities due to decay are one of the main reasons for the structural loss of a tooth. A part of or a whole tooth could be missing due to an external trauma such as an accident or fraction of the tooth. A previously placed restoration would have deteriorated creating the need for re-restoring it. Intentional loss of structure of the tooth may occur when dentists prepare the tooth for aesthetic improvements.
Restoring a Tooth Directly or Indirectly
The technique of direct restoration involves keeping a prepared soft filling into the tooth. The filling sets and becomes hard while in contact with the tooth. This procedure does not damage the tooth because it passes very limited energy on to the tooth during the setting process. Experts advise this method for restoration in areas that are unacceptably to under heavy pressure during chewing. A single visit to the dentist would suffice for this procedure. On the contrary, indirect dental restorations involve the technique of using dental impressions of the prepared tooth to fabricate tooth restoration externally. Crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays are the common indirect restorations. This is then permanently fixed with dental cement. This process requires a minimum of two visits to the dentist.
Different Tooth Restoration Types
There are many ways for teeth restoration and the most common type is the filling restoration, done with materials such as tooth-colored plastic, silver amalgam, gold, or glass materials. Crowns gets capped to a tooth so that its shape, size, appearance, and strength remain intact. Crowns cover a dental implant or hold a dental bridge in place. When one or more missing teeth creates a gap, false teeth known as bridges helps in filling up the space. When the tooth roots needs replacement, dentists go for implants treatment. This is a small metallic post placed into the bone socket of the missing teeth and then crowned. Dentures, made of acrylic resin, replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. These are removable and have metal attachments. While complete dentures treatment is advised when all the teeth are missing, partial dentures are done when there are some natural teeth remaining. Metal clasps fix these to the natural teeth.
While most people try to maintain a good oral hygiene and reduce the incidence of sugar consumption, there may be a need to have a dental filling to restore broken or broken teeth.
HOW TO PREVENT TOOTH DECAY
To prevent tooth decay, it is recommended that you should floss at least once daily, brush twice daily, and limit the intake of sugar in the diet at most three times a day. Sugar is present in many different foods, such as fruits, processed foods, soft drinks and sweets.
People who are at a high risk of developing tooth decay should also consider the use of fluoride mouthwashes or high fluoride dental flosses to reduce the risk of tooth decay development.
AVAILABLE FILLING MATERIALS
Several dental filling materials are available today. They include amalgams, gold cast, tooth-colored composite fillings and porcelain materials to mention but a few are:
SILVER FILLINGS (AMALGAM)
Dental amalgam is a liquid mercury mixture and a metal alloy used to fill the cavities caused by tooth decay. Amalgam usually consists of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals.
Many patients who have undergone tooth filling currently have amalgam as a part of their dentition notwithstanding the numerous health concerns and threats posed by the presence of Mercury in the composition of the amalgam
TOOTH-COLORED COMPOSITE FILLINGS
Teeth colored fillings, also called white fillings or composite fillings, are used to fill the anterior and posterior teeth. The filling comes in the form of a paste that the dentist places on the damaged part of the tooth, adjusts the bite and polishes. It is commonly used for the fixation of front teeth damaged by decay or chipped, cracked or worn. The filling is tied to a tooth with a very strong dental resin, but it can break, lose or detach, depending on factors such as the size of the filling, where it is and habits like nail biting.
Tooth colored fillers are available in a variety of colors that can usually be combined with tooth color, and some of the latest materials look very natural.
RISKS INVOLVED IN TEETH FILLING
Tooth sensitivity may arise after deep filling has been done. Normalcy is mostly restored in a few days or weeks after filling.
On rare occasions, if the sensitivity and pain persistent due to a very deep filling, a root canal treatment may be necessary.
Over time, fills may freeze, loosen, chip or break. Occidentally, if filling is very important, it is recommended to replace the dental crown instead of filling it to reduce the risk of fractures or fractures.
LONGEVITY OF FILLINGS
With good monitoring and maintenance, fillings should last for several years. Studies show that the average lifespan of amalgam or composite filling is about 3-5 years. Studies show that in composite or porcelain fills last an average of 5 to 10 years.
Patients can extend the longevity of their fillings by brushing and flossing the teeth, reducing the frequency of sugar consumption, and visiting the dentist every 6 months so that their fillings can be checked on a regular basis.[Top]