A dental filling is a procedure done to restore a damaged tooth so that it can function normally. To give you a filling, first, the dentist needs to remove the damaged parts of the tooth, clean the affected area to avoid any infections, and then fill the cavity. This cavity is usually very sensitive, as the inner nerves can be exposed due to it. The filling done inside prevents any infections or bacteria take over.
The dentists usually run X-Rays and check with their small mirrors to see the complete integrity of your teeth. Only after this can they decide if there needs to be any surgery.
There are several types of fillings that can be used. These include Cast Gold, Amalgam, Composite, Ceramic, and such. Each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages, and they will be analyzed as follows:
This filling is made out of gold alloys, and are used for inlays, inlays, and crowns. They usually last at least 15 years (as gold does not corrode easily and is durable enough to survive chewing). However, the costs for this material is also 6 to 10 times higher than other materials. It also takes two visits to get this filling, as the dentist first puts a temporary filling while taking the impression of your teeth.
These are considered to be strong and can survive to chew, but they are easily corroded. They are less costly, can be done in one visit, and are less sensitive to moisture. However, they do not match the color of your teeth. The bonding also tends to not remain adhesive with your teeth after a while. For this, the dentist might have to cut more tooth. Lastly, people may have mercury allergies, and cannot use this material.
This material is a mix of plastics and glass. They usually last 5 years and are less costly than Cast Gold fillings. The color will also match the teeth. The bonding tends to be stronger in this, as it is bonded directly. This material can, however, shrink, leaving gaps, and are not as likely to survive under chewing as Amalgam fillings do.
This is mainly made from porcelain and can last more than 7 years. It can be just as costly as Cast Gold fillings, if not more at times. It is more fragile than composite fillings though and requires a reduction in the size of the tooth.
The procedure of a Filling
The dentists clean the cavity first so that there are no bacteria to infect the whole. After that, they fill it in to ensure the strength of the tooth. The dentists tend to shape the fillings to fit the tooth so that there is no damage to the surrounding teeth.
To clean it, the dentist has to first numb the area with anesthetics. This is done so that you do not feel any pain from the dental drill that will be removing the damage from the cavity. Afterward, they place the filling in – the procedure of that depends on the type of filling you are getting.
How to prevent it?
Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:
- brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- flossing daily
- eating a balanced diet
- visiting the dentist regularly.