As we grow, bacteria enter to the mouth and set up a permanent residence inside it, so it is very important to have a proper oral hygiene and take care of teeth to avoid important damages to the dental enamel and other deeper structures.
Likewise, every time we eat, teeth get covered by a very strong acid that has the main objective of helping to digest the food, but if it is not removed on time from the dental surface by brushing and flossing, it can damage a tiny amount of the teeth structure every day until producing a big hole or other important damages to many teeth's structures.
These cavities in the teeth are commonly called tooth decay, cavities and dental caries, and most experts recommend treating them as soon as possible to avoid more severe complications. This type of dental problem is so common and severe that experts have developed a treatment that consists in removing all the bacteria in the dental cavity to later fill the dental hole with a hard and tooth-like material commonly known as the dental filling.
What is a tooth filling?
A tooth filling is defined by the Colgate and WebMD experts as the best way to restore the tooth's damage and recover its normal function and shape by filling dental cavities, repairing cracked or broken teeth and even recovering the teeth surfaces that have been damaged and worn down from misuse.
There are many types of filling available nowadays and among them, gold, a composite resin (also called tooth-colored fillings), porcelain or amalgams (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc) can be included.
Who is a good candidate for a tooth filling?
It is important to know that only a qualified dentist can determine if a patient is a good candidate for undergoing a tooth filling procedure, this is why the dentists check all the teeth surfaces with a small mirror and other techniques during consultation. However, in general terms, tooth decay or problems with existent fillings can be treated by using new tooth fillings.
Experts recommend undergoing regular checkups with the dentist because not all patients with caries experience symptoms. In fact, most cases of caries start silently in the early stages and the patient only experiences symptoms when the decay has progressed. Among the most common symptoms of these dental conditions, tooth sensitivity, toothache (that is usually sharp or throbbing), pain while biting or chewing, among others, can be included.
How is a tooth filling performed?
The tooth filling procedure is considered an easy technique. However, it must be performed by a qualified dentist to obtain good results.
In general terms, the dentist must remove the decay and all the damaged areas in the tooth, clean them to eliminate all the bacteria and finally fill the tooth with the proper material.
In most cases, the dentist uses a local anesthetic to avoid pain or discomfort during the procedure. The decayed area can be removed by using a drill, laser or air abrasion instrument according to the patient's particular characteristics and the dentist's preferences.
Which is the best material for a tooth filling?
The Colgate experts say that there is not an ideal material for a tooth filling. The material that will be used must be selected according to the extent of the repair, if the patient is allergic to some materials, the tooth that will be filled, the cost of the procedure, among others. However, some materials are more common than others due to their great properties.
Gold fillings are recommended by some experts for patients with sensitive gums because they are well tolerated. This material is also very resistant, they usually last more than 20 years. However, it is a very expensive material and requires multiple check-ups after being placed.
Another option is the called Amalgam (or silver) fill, which is also a very resistant material, and it is less expensive than gold. The main disadvantage of amalgams is the color of the material because due to the dark color that silver has, this filling is more noticeable than others.
Composite (or plastic) resins have the advantage of being almost the same color of the teeth, so their aspect is more natural. However, this material is not ideal for large fillings and usually last between 3 and 10 years (less than other materials).
Finally, the porcelain fillings (also called inlays or onlays) also produce a natural aspect but are expensive.
How much does a tooth filling procedure cost?
The cost of tooth filling will vary according to the type and number of materials that will be used as filling, the need for preparing the teeth with other procedures before using the fill, the number of teeth that must be filled, the place where the procedure will be performed, among others.
The final result of a cosmetic dental procedure and the patient's satisfaction depends on the dentist quality. So, if you need to undergo a Tooth Filling, need more details about the procedure or need to find the best dentists in your area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer all your questions.