Tooth or dental filling is one of the common procedures that a dentist regularly performs. It involves teeth restoration and also reparation from decay and damages. There are a few choices of tooth filling material that you can choose from. These fillings differ when it comes to material type, strength, and aesthetics. However, fillings materials serve the same purposes.
Types of Tooth Fillings
These are the choices of tooth fillings that patients can choose from. Furthermore, the selection may depend on each patient’s personal preference and budget.
- Composite fillings
The composite filling procedure is a popular choice as it can match to the color of existing natural teeth. It is also versatile as it effectively fills out a chipped, cracked or damaged tooth. Usually, it is used to cover imperfection on the front tooth and other visible teeth areas. However, it only lasts for more or less five years and is not recommended for use on large cavities.
- Glass ionomer fillings
This type of dental filling is suitable for children as it’s from acrylic and a certain glass material type. It releases fluoride that protects the teeth from decay. On the contrary, it’s prone to fracture and only lasts for more or less five years.
- Gold fillings
This tooth filling material is durable and can last for ten to 15 years. It does not corrode and can withstand the force of chewing. However, it is expensive and patients tend to experience galvanic shock. It’s also not aesthetically pleasing unlike ceramic types.
- Ceramic fillings
Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain. It is durable as it can last for more or less 15 years. It blends well with the rest of the natural teeth and highly resists from stains. On the other hand, it can be as expensive as gold fillings.
- Silver amalgam fillings
Silver amalgam filling is durable as it can withstand chewing forces and can last for up to 15 years. It’s a mixture of metals like silver, tin, and mercury. Similarly, it’s less expensive as a composite filling procedure. However, it is not aesthetically pleasing as silver fillings appear dark.
Steps of a tooth filling procedure
It is vital to follow a dental filling process to ensure that the right solution is given. These are the steps of a tooth filling procedure:
- Consultation and planning
Your dentist will inspect your decayed teeth and decide what course of action to take. He will also examine the whole oral cavity and check for problematic areas. A dental x-ray may be needed to assess the severity of your condition. Your dentist, and you as well, will decide on the choice of tooth filling material, depending on a number of factors like aesthetic needs, preference and medical history.
- Actual procedure
The dentist will numb the patient’s affected tooth with local anesthesia. Then, he will use either a laser or a dental handpiece to remove the decayed or damaged part. After the cleaning, he will apply the acid gel to remove traces of bacteria or debris. He then places an adhesive on the tooth to prepare for the next composite filling procedure. This is the part where the dentist places the filling material on the tooth. Finally, a special bonding light will be used to harden the material.
Your dentist will discuss with you on how to properly care for your newly-filled tooth. Aside from dental advises, the dentist may apply dental sealant to the rest of the teeth to protect it from further decay.
There’s nothing to worry when you have a decayed or damaged tooth because dental fillings help restore your teeth. Your dental hygienist gives you advise on the right tooth filling material that fits your dental needs.