Dental filling is a form of restorative dental treatment that is used to repair cracked, broken or decayed tooth. Misuse of the teeth and certain dental disorder such as teeth grinding (Bruxism) can damage your teeth enamel. The teeth enamel is the outermost and strongest part of the teeth, poor oral hygiene can wear down or destroy the protective layers of your teeth.
Enamel demineralization and destruction usually result to tooth decay, and tooth sensitivity. However there are numerous tooth filling materials that can be used to repair damaged tooth enamel. Gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, tooth-colored composite resins and glass Ionomer are different materials that can be used for dental filling.
Although, all these materials have their unique prices, advantages and disadvantages. The prices can vary depending on the extent your tooth decayed or damaged. On my previous article, I tried to explain more about tooth filling materials. I listed the advantages, disadvantages and estimated costs of each of these filling materials. Don’t worry, I will reveal some of this things to you before the end of this post.
Well, am not here to talk about materials for tooth fillings. I am here to show you the procedures and steps of installing tooth fillings. You will also learn about the things that you might experience after getting some fillings. But that’s not all, you will also know how to take care of your teeth fillings after getting them.
Tooth Filling Process
When you visit your dentist for filling, the first thing that he will do is to carry out a close examination on the affected teeth. These first step will be of great help to him in determining the best way to install your teeth fillings. Your dentist can carry out these dental examination with the help of some dental tools and x-ray if necessary.
Dental probe and caries detecting liquid, as well as X-ray are used on the suspected teeth to determine the exact location of decay on your teeth. With these, your dentist will get enough information on the severity of the damages on your teeth.
However, tooth fillings is only recommend for minor fractures and decay. Dental crown, implants and root canals are used for more severe cases. Dental filling helps to seal off your cavity, preventing further decay and damages to the affected teeth.
Secondly, after dental examination, you will have to choose the filling material that you want. Just like I said earlier, there are different types of tooth filling materials that you can select from. Your dentist can help you to understand more about this. You can refer to my previous article on > top tooth filling materials.
Next, after you and your dentist have agreed on the tooth fillings material to use. The dentist now have to create openings on your teeth where the filling will be installed. The decayed or damaged tooth and its surrounding areas are all prepared for the restoration. The dentist will probably give you some sort of anesthesia or numbing agent to help reduce the pain as he drill your teeth.
Depending on your dentist choice of instrument, a drill or laser can be used to remove the decayed area. After making an opening, he will sterilize the area making the hole suitable for the filling. The holes will now be filled with the filling material that you and your dentist decided to use beforehand.
How long does it take to complete a filling?
The time to complete a tooth filling process may vary depending on the extent of the damage or the material used. Amalgam filings is quite popular and it’s among the easiest when it comes to installation. It takes about 30 – 60 minutes to complete amalgam fillings. Composite and glass Ionomer fillings are more complex and takes longer time to install. Gold fillings can take more than two visits to your dentist before it will be completed. So, the time to complete a filling can be determined by the material used.
How long can a filling last?
There are permanent and temporal fillings, temporary fillings are not meant to last. Temporary fillings can last up to 1 months, after some period of time there will be need to replace them with permanent ones. Permanent fillings such as : Inlays and onlays are more durable and can last much longer up to 15 years or more.
Amalgam fillings also known as silver fillings last for at least 10 to 15 years and usually outlasts composite fillings. (1) Composite and glass Ionomer fillings are much more similar, they last for at least 5 to 7 years. Furthermore, gold fillings is quite expensive but they worth it. It’s highly durable lasting more than 15 years without corrosion and side effects. However, composite and glass Ionomer fillings don’t last long enough like other filling materials. But most people go for these fillings (composite and glass Ionomer) because they are designed to match the exact color of your natural teeth.
How does tooth fillings hurt?
During or some few minutes after getting a tooth filling, you will not feel any pain because of the anesthesia. The dentist will give you some medications that will make you feel comfortable when performing the fillings.
You will only start to feel pain after the filling must have been completed, when the anesthesia starts to wear off. The pain after tooth filling is very common and your dentist already know about it. After receiving a filling, the dentist will recommend suitable pain relieving medications for you. If after taking your medications and the pain didn’t seem to be going away. You should contact your dentist as soon as possible.
How do I take care of my dental fillings?
Not taking good care of your fillings can affect their durability negatively. You should keep up with good oral hygiene, brush and floss at least twice every day. Visiting your dentist regularly for frequent check-ups and cleaning is also very important. You should try to avoid eating much hard, sugary and sticky foods.
Constant tooth sensitivity and visible cracks in your fillings shows that there is something wrong with your fillings. If you notice any of these signs, you should call your dentist and tell him.