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Dental Fillings / Teeth Fillings

WHAT IS A FILLING

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

 

By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-coloured fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

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    BEFORE & AFTER PICTURE GALLERY

    A TOOTH-COLOURED FILLING

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    ANTERIOR DECAY

    BROKEN TOOTH

    CAVITY IN FRONT TEETH TREATMENT

    Which Type of Filling is Best?

    Gold fillings

    Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

    Silver amalgam fillings

    This is a popular filling. Silver amalgam filling contains more than silver — it is a combination of other minerals, including tin, zinc, copper and mercury. It is a common choice because it is sturdy, long-lasting and less pricey than other options. A normal silver amalgam filling can stand up to 12 years of use. Dentists find it easy to use because it is malleable.

    The main drawback is that it is not aesthetically pleasing, so it is not the best choice for a visible tooth. The material can also respond to temperature changes by contracting and expanding, causing the tooth to crack. The fluctuations may create a gap between the filling and tooth, ushering in food and bacteria and the formation of new cavities. Despite the controversy surrounding mercury in silver amalgam, the filling material has been declared safe for use.

    Composite fillings

    Composite fillings are created from plastic and resin material. It is placed inside the tooth while it is soft and hardened with a bright curing light. It is a common option because it can be customised to match the colour of the patient’s existing teeth, so it is not as conspicuous as the silver amalgam filling. Also, composite fillings are not as long-lasting as some other types. They can survive from up to five to 10 years, after which a replacement might be required.

    Ceramic fillings

    They are created using porcelain material, which makes it both durable and cosmetically appealing. Ceramic fillings cost more than other fillings, but they are tooth-coloured and resist stains and abrasion better than composite resin.

    The drawback of using ceramic filling over composite is that it is more brittle and, therefore, has to be used on large cavities to prevent breakage. The dentist can enlarge the area to make room for the extra bulk.

    Porcelain fillings

    They are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the colour of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth. Their cost is similar to gold.

    If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated in two ways: through root canal therapy (in which nerve damaged nerve is removed) or through a procedure called pulp capping (which attempts to keep the nerve alive).

    What Happens When You Get a Filling?

    If your dentist decides to fill a cavity, he or she will first remove the decay and clean the affected area. The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with any of the variety of materials described above.

    How Do I Know If I Need a Filling?

    Only your dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled. During a checkup, your dentist will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth.

    Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. Your dentist may also X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.

    TIPS AFTER DENTAL FILLING

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    How Long Do A Dental Filling (Teeth Filling) Last?
    The longevity of Dental Filling depends upon the material of the filling. It also depends on how well you take care of your filling. The life of Dental Filling varies from 10 years to 20 years.
    Can Dental Filling Fall Off?
    Yes, but the chances are rare for any teeth filling to fall off.
    What To Do If Your Fillings Come Out?
    Visit your dentist as soon as your Dental Filling comes out. There might be increased sensitivity for a while.
    How To Know That Dental Filling Is Loose?
    If you have sensitivity even after getting the filling done, then it is likely that your filling is about to come off. Or if you feel pressure while eating or have a constant toothache then the chances of it coming off is high.
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