What is tooth filling?
Tooth fillings are a type of treatment used to replace tooth structure that has been lost due to decay or trauma.
In a Tooth filling the decayed and damaged portion of the tooth is removed and a dental material is placed to prevent further damage and restore function and appearance. The replacement material may be made of porcelain, glass ionomer, composite resin, gold, or silver amalgam.
Let’s learn about the structure of the tooth:
A tooth consists of three layers:
- Enamel (hardest tissue)
- Dentine (less hard than enamel)
- Pulp (innermost layer, contains nerves and blood vessels)
If the decay just affects the first two layers of the tooth, filling or restorations can treat it.
An RCT or Endodontic treatment is required in the event that the tooth decay extends to the third layer and results in pulp inflammation or infection.
Reasons you might need a Tooth Filling:
1. In the event of a cavity
2. Fractured or cracked tooth
4. In the case of tiny holes in teeth
5. Fillings for discolored teeth
6. In cases of gradual tooth structure loss
Teeth Filling Materials:
1. Metal fillings:
Materials for dental fillings include metals like gold and silver. These metal fillings are the strongest and endure for at least 20 years. These are age-old fillings.
2. Amalgam fillings:
Amalgam fillings do not match the color of natural teeth. It lasts at least 10 to 15 years. For large cavities and ones that develop in the back teeth, where a lot of chewing effort is required, it is the ideal option.
3. Glass ionomer cement fillings:
Glass Ionomer cement is a tooth-colored dental filling material. It has a unique quality known as the “anti-cariogenic” property; this means that it stops caries from developing as a result of fluoride release.
4. Composite fillings:
Composite is a tooth-colored Tooth filling material. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded in the area and light cured. The dentist selects a shade to match your teeth therefore it is used where a natural appearance is desired.
5. Porcelain fillings:
If you have a major cosmetic concern, porcelain fillings are the best option. These can be utilized if the decay is significant enough and covers the majority of the tooth. This durable filling also resists stains.
Tooth Filling Procedure:
- We may perform one or two X-rays to determine the extent of tooth decay
- First, we will numb the tooth with a local anesthetic if necessary.
- Next, the decayed area is removed.
- A probe is inserted into the area to determine whether all of the decay has been thoroughly removed or not.
- Once the decay is removed, we will prepare space for filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris.
- After the filling is completed, the cleaning and polishing are done.
- In cases of tooth-colored fillings, the filling material is applied in layers. A special light that cures or hardens each layer is applied. When the filling is done, we will shape the filling material to the desired result
Consequences of not getting a filling done:
If you ignore the cavity that has been created, the pulp cavity could become infected and become very painful. Fillings won't be enough to treat the problem and one might require root canal treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: No, dental fillings are not painful at all as the infection is limited to enamel and dentin.
Answer: Fillings aid in preventing additional decay of teeth that have already been harmed by tooth decay. Any pain or discomfort brought on by a cavity should go away when the tooth is treated.
Answer: Filling typically lasts between 10 to 20 years, though this is dependent on the location of the fillings, size, and oral hygiene.