What are Tooth Fillings
Tooth fillings can also be referred to as dental restoration. It is defined as a process aimed at restoring the function and integrity of the missing dental structure which has been damaged by tooth decay to its normal shape. When giving a filling, the dentist first removes the decayed tooth material using special instruments.
Tooth fillings usually involves several steps.
Once the dentist discovers a decay, he will numb the gums using a special anaesthetic. An air abrasion material or drill will then be used to remove the decayed tooth.
The dentist will then examine the area when removing the decayed tooth to confirm if all the unwanted materials have been removed. The dentist will then clean the cavity left to remove any remaining materials and bacteria that caused the decay. Where a decay has affected a major portion of the tooth, the dentist may recommend cap or even a crown. If the decay has done up to the nerve, it may treated through root canal therapy by removing the damaged tooth or through pulp capping, a process which allows the nerve to remain arrive. After filling, the dentist will polish off the surface.
Different materials may be used for filling. The choice of the filling material will depend on whether the patient is allergic to different filling materials, the extent of repair and the cost. The different materials for tooth filling include:
This restoration material usually stain-resistant and can be matched to tooth colour.
Gold fillings: This material is usually tolerated by the gum tissues and can longer as compared to the other materials hence it’s highly preferred.
Composite resins: This are preferred where the patient’s natural appearance is needed, where its color corresponds to the color of the teeth. The ingredients are usually mixed and placed on into the empty cavity. This filling material may not last for long as it may start wearing off with time In addition, this material may easily become stained from tobacco and coffee.
Amalgam fillings: It is an alloy of silver, tin, copper or mercury. The advantage of this material is it is cheaper and resistant to wear. However, this material is more noticeable than the other materials, hence not used for front teeth.
Once tooth filling has been completed, patients may experience some problems such as tooth sensitivity, tooth pain and allergies. Tooth sensitivity is usually common among patients, a condition which resolves itself within a short time after the placement. A patient may be sensitive to sweet foods, temperature or even air.
Tooth pain may also occur when chewing food or when the tooth touch. If pain occurs when chewing food, it may be caused by the filling interfering with chewing food. If it occurs, the patient should go back to his/her dentist to have the filling reshaped. Pain which occurs when the tooth touch, the pain may disappear within a short period.
Allergic reactions from tooth filling may be triggered by a metals used in amalgam filling. Patients who suffer such allergic reactions usually have a family history of allergies.
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