The Facts about Tooth Fillings

The Facts about Tooth Fillings

May 01, 2020

Practically everyone knows what tooth fillings are and the number of people gaining knowledge about fillings is increasing every passing day. With tooth decay and cavities being a chronic condition in America and affecting approximately 50% of the people who at some time or the other may have had their teeth filled from a tooth fillings dental clinic.

When people develop cavities dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth before filling the area of the tooth earlier occupied by the decay. Fillings help repair cracked and broken teeth and teeth worn down from misuse.

What Are the Steps Associated During Filling a Tooth?

When patients visit dentists with a cavity the professional will initially numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. They will then use a drill, or a laser to remove the decayed area. The instrument used for removing the decayed portion will depend on the comfort level of the dentist with the equipment as well as the training, investment, and the location and extent of the decay.

The dentist will probe the area during the removal process to determine if all the decay has been removed. After confirmation, it will be prepared for the filling by cleaning any bacteria and debris remaining in the cavity. If the decay is close to the root the dentist will first put a liner made from glass ionomer or other material to protect the nerve. After placing a filling the dentist will generally finish it with a polishing.

Many additional steps may be required for tooth-colored fillings which will be as follows. After the decay has been removed by the dentist and the area cleaned the tooth-colored composite will be applied in layers. Ultraviolet light to cure and harden every layer will also be used. After the multilayer process is completed the dentist will shape the composite material as desired and trim off any excess material before polishing the eventual restoration.

What Types of Filling Materials Can Patients Choose?

Presently patients have a choice of dental filling materials for themselves. Cavities in the teeth can be filled with gold, porcelain, silver amalgam which is a combination of mercury mixed with silver, zinc, tin, and copper, and tooth-colored plastic and glass filling materials that are known as composite resin fillings. The position and amount of the decay, the value of the filling material, the insurance coverage of the patient, and the dentist’s recommendation can assist in determining the type of filling that can best address the needs of the patient. Patients can select from the following materials that will be offered to them after an evaluation of their mouth is conducted by their dentist.

Cast Gold Fillings

These fillings are durable and last for 10 to 15 years without corroding. They can withstand chewing forces and some patients have found them aesthetically pleasing than silver amalgam fillings. However, they are expensive and can set patients back by about 10 times the cost of silver amalgam fillings. They require multiple visits to the dentists’ office and many patients do not find the need to have colored fillings on their teeth when alternatives are easily available.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

These fillings are again durable and last for the same duration as cast gold fillings. They are strong and can withstand the forces of chewing and are least expensive among different types of fillings. Unfortunately, they don’t stand out in aesthetics because they are unable to match the natural color of the teeth and are susceptible to discoloration. Healthy parts of the tooth need to be removed to make sufficient space to hold the amalgam filling.

Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

The shade and color of tooth-colored composite fillings can be closely matched the color of the existing teeth. This is an option best suited for the visible front teeth. Tooth-colored composite bonds to the teeth to provide additional support to the tooth. They can also be used as a filling material for decay or for repairing chipped, worn, or broken teeth. Unfortunately, they are not as durable as silver amalgam and gold and will need to be replaced every five years. They are also unsuitable for the back molars which take the maximum chewing pressure.

Fillings Of Other Varieties

Ceramics and glass ionomer are also available and may be offered to patients by the dentists if it is suitable for their situation. The tooth fillings dental clinic can offer different types of filling materials to their patients after considering their unique needs to provide tooth restorations will last for quite some time.

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