Table of Contents
What is a tooth filling?
Dental Fillings (restorations) are special materials used by the dentist to restore missing tooth structure due to decay or trauma. Decay makes the tooth hollow and dental filling helps to fill this gap, restore the normal form and function and protect it from further decay.
A filling can also be used to repair broken or cracked tooth and the teeth which wear off due to dental habits like teeth grinding, nail biting etc.
When does need dental filling?
There are various signs and symptoms where fillings can be required. The symptoms could be as below:
Situations where there is a complain of food getting stuck between two teeth is an indication for filling.
Dark spots on the teeth signify tooth decay and need filling as soon as possible to avoid the further spread of decay.
Teeth that are chipped or broken due to trauma or wear and tear can be fixed using tooth fillings.
A hole in the tooth may indicate stage 2 decay and should be immediately treated by dental filling if the nerve of the tooth is not infected. Sometimes, the issue of sensitivity to cold and hot beverages can be solved using dental fillings.
If you come across any of the symptoms as mentioned above, then there is a chance that you need a filling. The final decision will be made by your dentist after a thorough clinical and radiographic examination.
What is the procedure of tooth filling?
Tooth Filling is most commonly required if your tooth is decayed. It can prevent further damage and can protect your tooth from infection. The first step is evaluation of how deep the tooth decay is because dental fillings are only meant for treating early stages of decay.
The dentist will carry out the clinical examination and if needed an x-ray will be taken to gain more detailed information about the depth of decay.
If needed, the dentist will numb the tooth to be treated to avoid any pain during the procedure. This is followed by cleaning the damaged portion of the tooth with specialized tools and preparing it to receive a filling material.
A filling material is then placed inside the cleaned space and at the end the dental filling is finished and polished using different instruments.
Types of Fillings (Restorations) Material
Following materials are used as dental filling materials; these are generally completed in a single appointment
1. COMPOSITE- Tooth color filling material
Composite fillings are the newest and the most commonly used dental fillings in modern day dentistry.
A composite filling is made from different resin materials and filler particles that harden on exposure to a curing blue light.
They come with different colors for exact matching of filling material with tooth color that’s why this material is also known as tooth color filling material
Composites are tooth-colored filling materials and so are widely used to restore lost tooth structure due to decay or tooth fracture due to injury. Or repair of broken front teeth, closing gap between front teeth (midline diastema closing)
Before after composite filling treatment
Since this material is so aesthetically tooth colored, it is also used to design direct composite veneers which can mimic the features of a natural tooth. It is also possible to mask the discoloration of teeth by using composite material.
After removal of the decayed tooth structure, the dentist uses a gel based material to etch the tooth; this is done to increase the bonding of composite to tooth.
Following this, an adhesive solution is scrubbed on the tooth surface after completely drying out the tooth. Later, small increments of composite resin is placed inside the cleaned cavity, shaped according to tooth anatomy and hardened using a curing light.
- Required only one appointment
- Longer life among the all filling material
- It will not come out like dental cement
- Almost tooth color filling material: natural looks
- You can eat immediately after composite filling
2. GLASS IONOMER- Dental cement
Glass ionomer cements have different types, each indicated to use in different situations. This cement can not only be used as a filling material but also can help fix the crown to the teeth.
The glass ionomer cement is made from ion leachable glass, water, calcium, fluoride and many other components. This filling material is the most preferred while treating milk teeth.
As compared to other filling materials, this material has the shortest life span (less than 5 years) and thus not much suitable in restoring permanent teeth. It has an ability to release fluoride around the cavity.
Before after glass inomer filling
This property of the glass ionomer cement to release fluoride protects the tooth from acquiring decay again. Glass ionomers are weaker than composites and are highly prone to cracks, wear and tear.
- Indicated in primary teeth in child
- Can be used in low chowing loading area of permanent teeth
- Short life span- less than 5 years
- In deep decay can be use ad interim restoration
- Color is not adequately match the color of the teeth unlike composite
3. DENTAL AMALGAM -silver fillings
Silver filling has become a popular dental filling material since more than a century all around the world.
Silver filling is called as Dental Amalgam in medical terms and is made from an amalgamation of different metals like mercury, tin, copper and silver and varying proportions.
The liquid mercury is mixed with other powdered metals to form a mix that can be placed and shaped inside the cleaned cavities. Since it is made out of only metals, it has a distinct silver color and that’s the reason it is called “silver filling”.
In the recent years, silver amalgam fillings are no longer used because of the potential risks involved in it. Mercury is found to be hazardous for human health and studies show that mercury vapors arising from the amalgam fillings are harmful for the patient as well as the dentist as they can get absorbed and cause health problems.
We are not doing any silver filling due to is it harmful to human, above paragraph is just for information only
4. Indirect restorations
These require 2 or more appointments to get completed and are customized in a dental laboratory. Indirect fillings are similar to tooth-colored fillings but they are made in a dental laboratory and cannot be done in a single appointment.
Indirect fillings are the treatment of choice when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but at the same time the tooth is not so severely damaged.
The procedure starts by removing the decay or an old filling and cleaning up the cavity space. An impression is then made to record the tooth to receive the indirect restoration. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory to fabricate an indirect filling.
These indirect restorations are fabricated from ceramic. Ceramic makes these fillings highly resistant to abrasion and stains.
These indirect fillings can be categorized as: Inlay and Onlay.
Inlays are similar to fillings but the entire filling lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
Onlays are more extensive than inlays, covering one or more cusps of a tooth. They are sometimes called partial crowns.
An onlay covers the chewing surface of the tooth like a crown and distributes the chewing forces, thus protects a weakened tooth structure.
- This is usually indicated after root canal treatment no enough tooth structure is left to hold dental crown
- Resist to wear and tear
- Does not get stain over time
- Inlays and onlays are more durable and last longer than other filling materials.
In next article you can read what to eat after tooth filling and Maintenance of dental filling
Tooth Filling Cost in Rajkot
Cost of cavity filling depend on type of filling material is used; extend of decay and skill of dentist.
At sanjivani dental clinic Rajkot cost of tooth filling for
- Composite restoration -800-1800 INR
- Glass inomer- 500-800 INR
- Onlay and inlay-7500-9000 INR
Probably now you will think which material is suitable for me. Well it depend on various factor like extend of decay, loading area, looks, surface of teeth etc. so you should not worried about this we will diagnose your case and suggest which one is best for you.