Tooth decay is a major problem affecting the oral well-being of many patients around the world. When not properly treated and in good time, there is risk of more serious oral and general health complications. When your dentist near Bayside confirms you are suffering from tooth decay or cavities, one of the recommended treatments may be the use of fillings. Dental fillings are used to even out the surface of a damaged or decayed tooth while improving function. The damaged or diseased part of the tooth is removed and then replaced with a filling material.
Filling decayed or damaged teeth is a moderately invasive procedure. It begins with the dentist numbing the area to be treated so that you remain comfortable through the rest of the procedure. Next, the decayed are of the tooth is taken out using a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser. Usually, the choice of instrument depends on the training of the dentist, location of the decay and availability.
To ascertain that all of the decayed part has been removed, your dentist will probe the area. The tooth is then cleaned and the filling material is prepared.In case the area to be filled is near the root of the tooth, a liner made of glass ionomer or composite resin is put to protect the nerve and then the filling is placed. The dentist will mold the filling to a suitable shape and size and then finish by polishing it off. If the procedure was meant to repair a cracked or broken tooth, no further portion of the tooth is removed. Instead, it may just be filed down and cleaned to prepare it for the filling material.
While these are the essential steps observed in filling a tooth, the actual process may slightly vary depending on the type of filling material used. For instance, if you are using tooth-colored fillings, a curing light is used as each layer of the filling is applied. The light helps in curing the filling so that it hardens and properly bonds onto the tooth.
As mentioned earlier, dental fillings can be made from a variety of materials. The type of filling a patient decides to use will depend on factors such as cost, extent of damage and recommendations given by the dentist. The common types of dental fillings in 11361 include:
It is durable and estimated to last between 10 to 15 years. The material is also very strong and capable of withstanding chewing forces. It also does not corrode which makes it a safe choice. The biggest challenge with this type of filling is that it is expensive and requires at least two dental visits to be placed.
Just like gold cast, they are also very durable, with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. They are relatively affordable and are strong enough to withstand everyday chewing forces. However, silver fillings have poor aesthetics and are prone to discoloration. Some patients may also have an allergic reaction to the material. Silver also has a wider degree of expansion and contraction compared to your natural teeth, which may cause cracks and fractures to occur within the treated tooth.
Mostly chosen because of their close resemblance to the color of natural teeth. This makes them best for visible parts of the teeth. Additionally, composite fillings chemically bond to your natural tooth structure, offering great support. And because of their close resemblance to your existing teeth, composite fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken or worn out teeth.
If you choose composite filling, the biggest challenge you may experience is that they wear out faster than gold and silver fillings. The process of placing them is also longer since the filling is applied layer by layer. The cost of composite fillings is also quite high, going for almost double that of amalgams.
Other types of filling materials used include ceramics and glass ionomers. Make sure to discuss in details with your dentist the pros and cons of each filling type before making the final decision.