Dental fillings or Dental Restoration
It is a procedure of treating the decayed tooth or the tooth having cracks or the tooth that is worn out in time. The abnormalities that need to be filled in to avoid further infection or problems.
Dental Fillings are of two types Direct Fillings and Indirect Fillings.
Direct fillings or Direct Dental Bonding are the composite fillings that dentists in order to restore the tooth or teeth. This is the restorative method of fixing the tooth directly inside the mouth. In the case of direct fillings, the fillings set quickly and can be placed in a single procedure/appointment.
Indirect fillings or Indirect Dental Bonding is the restorative method in which the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and then the composite filling is prepared in the lab which is then cemented into the tooth. Indirect Restoration is recommended for the large restoration where there could be the possibilities of shrinkage of the fillings. An indirect restoration is usually associated with inlays, onlays, dentures, bridges, and crowns.
Types of dental fillings
There are four types of dental fillings such as gold, amalgam, ceramic and ionomer fillings. All the fillings have their own advantages. It is up to the dentist and the patient’s preference which filling to take up. It is always advisable to go according to your dentist’s choice of filling.
Gold fillings are made up of gold alloy mixed with other metals and are prepared in the laboratory. The gold inlays go well with the gum tissues and are durable as well, which is why the gold filling is preferred. The Gold fillings could last for a stretch of 15- 20yrs without any issues.
Amalgam is a mixture of silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury. The quantity of mercury is mostly high for almost 50% of the mixture consists of mercury. Amalgams are generally used for inlays for the inner teeth. It usually lasts for 10yrs or may last longer as per the maintenance.
Ceramic fillings are also known as Porcelain fillings, it usually mixes up with the colour of the tooth. It is generally used for inlays, outlays, crowns, dentures, and bridges. This filling almost covers the whole tooth. Porcelain fillings are stain-resistant. It lasts for 7 or more years.
Ionomer fillings or Glass Ionomer
An ionomer filling is a mixture of acrylic and glass. Ionomer fillings release fluoride which helps in protecting the teeth/tooth. A bright blue light is used to set the filling. It is used for the inlays. It is used for the front teeth or around the teeth and for the decayed part that is deep down below the gums. These are also known as Composite Resins.
How to take care of the dental fillings?
- Advised to check on how much time your fillings take to set.
- Try not to consume any kind of food or beverages until and unless the anesthesia wears off. Better if you avoid extreme hot and cold food and beverages.
- Rinse with an alcohol-free and therapeutic mouth rinse to reduce the oral bacteria.
- Use brushes with soft bristles and brush carefully twice a day.
- Avoid eating sticky and chewy food.
- Try to eat and chew on the other side of the mouth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
Can cavity develop under the dental filling?
After a while of filling, when the filling wear and tear just like the normal tooth, it may sometimes happen that the filling gets loosened and form gaps between the tooth and the filling which may end up with tooth decay. In order to avoid such cases, visit your dentist in regular intervals and get the filling cleaned and rechecked.
When to replace the dental fillings?
Fillings may change colour in due course of time because of tea, coffee or alcoholic drinks which might make the filling look more prominent. By the passage of time and due to daily wear and tear the filling might deteriorate under pressure which could end up with a crack or leakage or may fall out as well. You can always keep a check on your tooth if it is pain or shows some indifferent colour which could be an indication of visit the dentist as soon as possible.
How do dental fillings help?
Dental fillings could be very helpful as it’s procedure carries out various processes in it.
The first step of fillings involves the cleaning of the tooth decay which helps you in getting rid of the pain and it also helps in protecting the tooth from further decay or infections. The fillings that dentists use these days release fluoride which kind of protects the tooth and the filling lasts longer.
It helps in improving tooth functionality and gives relief while eating.
Dental fillings last longer for about 10-15 years or maybe more than that if there is no further infection.
It is a quick and crisp process which do not kill time neither bothers you much after it is done.
Dental fillings could boost your confidence as it helps you in getting rid of cavities and looks almost natural like a normal tooth, in case you choose a coloured filling it may look prominent outside.