It is a dental method to restore the missing tooth structure. A tooth can go out of shape due to decay or trauma. Since, decay will hollow the tooth/teeth, dental fillings are a great way to protect the damaged teeth and prevent it from further decay. Sometimes certain habits do cause dental decay, such as nail biting and teeth grinding and in such cases the dental filling helps in restoring the cracked and broken tooth/teeth structure.
When should one get dental filling?
Some of the common symptoms that needs to be addressed using dental filling treatment are as under:
- Tooth/teeth with a hole
- Dark spots on the tooth/teeth
- Chipped and broken tooth/teeth situation
- If you feel sensitivity on teeth to hot and cold food and beverages
- If you have tooth/teeth with single or multiple cavities
In case any of these symptoms match your dental condition, then there is a chance that you might need to check with your dentist to get the dental filling done. Your dentist will perform a thorough oral examination and recommend the right treatment.
The procedure of dental filling
As mentioned before, dental filling is used to prevent/protect a decaying tooth from further damage. Below are the steps or process of performing dental filling.
- First step would be to diagnose the severity of the tooth decay. Generally, dental filling is recommended when you are suffering from minor fractures and decay.
- Dentist will examine the infected tooth and if needed will recommend getting a X-ray done to assess the condition.
- Local anesthesia will be administered depending on the severity of the tooth decay, in order to make the area around the infected tooth numb.
- Next step would be to prepare for restoring the area around the damaged tooth.
- In case the tooth is damaged, then laser or dental hand-piece is used to remove the decayed tooth.
- In the next step, the dental filling will be used to fill the cavity. Type of filling will depend on the severity of the case.
- Lastly, the treated will be polished to set the dental filling.
What are the consequences of not getting a dental filling
In case you suffer from tooth decay then it is extremely crucial to get your teeth fixed. Ignoring your tooth decay can damage your teeth as it will start with damaging the enamel (which is the out part of the teeth) and then exposing the dentin (which is the hard part below the enamel). Once the bacteria in your mouth come in contact with the exposed dentin part, it will lead to infection.
Start of infection will cause teeth sensitivity and that is the first sign that you need to get the fillings done. In case you choose ignore the vital signs of tooth decay and do not opt for needed treatment, then chances are, the infection will reach the nerve and it will eventually damage the tooth and then you will need to go through Root Canal Treatment.
Types of Dental Fillings
- Metal filling: It is most common and age old filling type for tooth decay treatments. Silver filing is quite inexpensive for dental filling. However, gold would be preferred choice even if expensive one. Compared to silver, gold can withstand chewing forces and have a durability of 10 to 15 years.
- Amalgam filling: Amalgam fillings are also quite in use for dental treatments. These fillers are made using a combination of various metals and that provides high success result to the treatment.
- Composite filling: Composite filling have the color of the tooth/teeth to ensure the aesthetics of teeth are well-maintained. In cases of tooth decay in the front teeth, these composite fillings are recommended as they match the color of the teeth so they are not as noticeable. Composite fillings easily bond with the tooth structure although they do not last as long as the metal or amalgam fillers.
- Porcelain or ceramic filling: Patients with aesthetic concerns can opt for porcelain or ceramic filling. These can also be used if the decay is large as these fillings can cover most part of the tooth. These are long lasting and do not wear off or stain easily.