Filling is the process that includes bringing back shape and function to the teeth affected by tooth decay or a broken tooth (for example, in an accident). When a dentist carries out a restoration, he/she removes the damaged part of a tooth, cleans the area, and fills in the cavity with restoration material. The filling also prevents later deterioration by closing access to the bacteria in places where they may infiltrate.
Dental Filling Types
No type of filling is best for everyone. The filling type is defined by possible allergies to the materials, the area in the dental arch that needs this procedure, and, finally, the cost.
Dental Filling Materials
- Composite Resin (composite) matches the colour of the teeth and are used to create a natural appearance as it adapts to the pre-existing teeth colour. The ingredients (composite) are mixed and placed directly in the cavity, where they will harden. These resins are not suitable for extensive restorations, because they slip more easily and, over time, will suffer from abrasion. In addition, they can have stains due to tobacco, tea, or coffee and have less durability in comparison with other restorations. The duration period is around 3 to 10 years, depending on the filling. Nevertheless, these resins cause less destruction to the tooth, since they will easily be attached to it.
- Porcelain Fillings (outlays or inlays) are also known as facets or veneers. A porcelain filling is made in a laboratory and later cemented on the tooth. They match the colour of the tooth and are stain resistant. Porcelain fillings generally cover most of the tooth.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant and relatively inexpensive. However, these fillings are dark in colour and so are not so used in visible areas as with a porcelain or composite restoration.
- Gold fillings are made specially in a laboratory and then placed into the tooth. Gold material is well tolerated by the gum tissues and may last more than 20 years. It is considered the best restoration material. However, it requires various dentist appointments and is more expensive.
What happens during a filling procedure?
Your dentist will remove the affected tooth area and clean it. Afterwards, the filling is carried out with one of the above-mentioned materials.
Do I need a filling?
Only the oral health professional will be able to determine if you need a dental restoration. During the assessment, the dentist will use special equipment, which may include radiological equipment, to analyse the surface of each tooth.
Replacing metallic restoration for composite
This replacement is possible if there is any problem regarding tooth health or a fracture on the pre-existing restoration. It is also possible to replace amalgam fillings when there is a substance release that stains the dental enamel.