Poor dental care, malnutrition and deforming in time could end up with tooth decays. If you don’t brush your teeth properly, some food pieces would remain between the gaps of your teeth and might produce bacterias which would cause the tooth decay. The tooth decay’s symptoms are a pain in the tooth, a sensitivity against cold and hot. In this case, it is the only option to apply dental care early enough to prevent losing the tooth completely. Otherwise, caries might spread to the tooth root and it could be a matter of extracting the tooth completely. We suggest the tooth filling to get rid of caries and have healthier teeth. The tooth filling brings back the teeth’s normal function and natural appearance. Also, tooth fractures and worms may require tooth fillings.
The tooth filling is one of the simplest dental treatments. The procedure includes a few simple steps. First, the removal of the decayed tissue out of the tooth. Dentists use a dentist’s drill to clean the area where the filling will be placed. When a decayed area becomes decontaminated completely, it means we are ready to go to the next step. The second step is the remaining gap gets clean and sterilized. And finally, the gap gets filled with the filling material by the dentist. The dentist gives a suitable shape to filling by shaving, to make it look natural. Then the dentist polishes the filling and finishes the treatment.
What to expect?
Depending on how deep or large the filling would be, it may require local anaesthesia. You can learn more about the procedure here.
After the tooth filling restoration, some patients may feel a bit sensitive which is quite normal. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sugary foods, cold or hot. Mostly, this sensitivity disappears in one or two weeks. It is better to avoid anything that causes sensitivity. If the sensitivity is too much or lasts more than two weeks, you should better consult your dentist. The dentist needs to know the details of your sensitivity. By knowing the details, the dentist can decide to renew your filling or use different types of materials for your future fillings.
Different types of filling materials
1. Amalgam (Silver)
Amalgam fillings are combined materials of copper, zinc, silver and dental mercury. Fifty per cent of the material is dental mercury. It is usually used in back teeth. The life of amalgam fillings is between 5 and 7 years and it is the most preferred filling type because of its economic price and durability.
Contrary to what is believed, dental mercury is not dangerous. With the changing form when it’s combined with other metal materials, it becomes completely harmful. This is also proved scientifically.
2. Composite (Bonding)
Composite fillings are combined with very tiny glass pieces and plastic. It is formed of %80 ceramic and %20 composite materials. It is mostly used in broken and fractured teeth or in front teeth where aesthetics and natural appearance is very important. Composite fillings are not only for broken, fractured or decayed teeth but also to change the colour and shape of the teeth in a cosmetic view. You can also pick up the closest colour to your existing teeth from the colour scale.
After the tooth is cleaned, the bonding procedure starts and the dentist places the composite filling in thin layers. This process goes on until the catch of intended size and appearance. After being sure of the size, the dentist polishes the tooth and finishes the treatment.
3. Porcelain inlay and onlay
Inlays and Onlays could be made of various materials. Most common ones are porcelains and fillings which are strengthened by fibres. The choice of materials is made by taking into consideration the tooth structure, the type of biting and the restorations in the adjacent teeth and cross teeth.
Inlay procedure starts with cleaning caries. Then the dentist measures the size of the remaining space in the tooth. Hand this dental impression to the laboratory. Technicians prepare the fitting filling material in the laboratory and the dentist places it in the remaining space and hardens it by flash-blue. You can also pick up the closest colour to your existing teeth from the colour scale.
Onlays are applied to the occlusal part of the tooth to cover it.
The pros and cons of different dental fillings
- It is very durable to masticatory forces.
- It is insoluble against mouth liquids.
- It has a good harmony with a cavity.
- It is really simple to apply.
- It does not harm alive tissues in the mouth.
- It is not resistant to tense and breakaway.
- It does not have an aesthetic look.
- It might have leakage.
- It may cause a galvanic current in the mouth.
- It may easily get dirty.
- It has a good match with your existing teeth.
- It is a one-time session.
- It doesn’t contain any metal materials.
- Composite fillings are glued directly to the tooth which makes it stronger than amalgam fillings.
- Indirect composite fillings are hardened by light and heat which raise durability.
- It is more aesthetic and natural-looking compared to amalgams.
- It costs more than amalgam fillings.
- It has more durability but concerning masticatory forces, it is not as durable as amalgams.
- It takes more time because the dentist places the filling material layer by layer.
- There may be a discolouration by timing.
Porcelain inlay and onlay:
- It keeps healthy dental tissue by avoiding unnecessary cutting and shaving procedures.
- It is really powerful against masticatory forces.
- It is indistinguishable from existing teeth due to its porcelain-based structure which reflects the light very well.
- Due to porcelain material, there won’t be any discolouration like composite fillings.
- It has a longer lifetime than composites.
- Compared to other filling materials, it has a better biological harmony in the mouth.
- It does not show any allergic reactions.
- There will not be any erosion or fraction due to years of usage.
- It does not bring any cold-hot sensitivities like other filling types.