What is a dental filling or cavity filling?

Also known as dental restoration, dental fillings are treatments used to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structures resulting from caries or external trauma as well as to the replacement of such structures supported by dental implants.

This is according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_restoration.
Commonly, the installation is done on patients whose teeth are chipped, worn out or suffer cavities. This professional restorative dental service should be done by a qualified dentist.

Types of filling

There are 5 main types of Cavity fillings.

  1. Amalgam
    Silver in color and has been used for over 150 years to fill chipped or decaying teeth. They usually last up to 20 years with proper care and are primarily used for the back teeth.
  2. Composite
    Strong fillings made of a combination of quartz, silica or other ceramic material in a resin base then colored to match your existing teeth.
  3. Glass ionomer
    These are tooth-colored and lighter. They form a chemical link with the teeth and may release fluoride. As they are weaker than the other fillings, they are often used in pediatric dental care and on non-biting surfaces of the teeth.
  4. Gold inlays
    These gold-colored fillings are the sturdiest of the fillings and are often used to cover wider areas of the teeth.
    Porcelain inlays are tooth-colored and are made digitally using CADCAM technology.

Pit and fissure sealants are used to prevent dental decay using a plastic coating to cover areas where pits, grooves and cracks have formed.

How do I know I need cavity filling?

  1. You have tooth cavities
    If tooth decay causes cavity formation, the dentist will drill out the damaged part of the tooth and apply a filling. This filling lasts for five years or more.
  2. You have realized small holes in your teeth
    The filling can be done on such teeth not only as a treatment but also prevention. If these little holes are not filled, they start accumulating food particles and bacteria that will cause tooth decay.
  3. In case of a fractured tooth
    A fractured tooth can be cured with a white composite filling. Teeth fractures are caused while playing sports, an unusual accident, or an aging process.
  4. You have discolored teeth
    Dentists may apply fillings to teeth that have become discolored due to the consumption of acidic foods and beverages. Teeth grinding and the use of teeth to open things can also cause discoloration.
  5. After the gradual loss of tooth structure
    When a tooth is damaged, it may not be easy to retain its natural structure. In such scenarios, the dental filling may be required to enhance the support and visual uniformity throughout the mouth.

How does dental filling work?
The dentist first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned-out cavity with a filling material. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay.
What is the difference between Filling and root canal?
A root canal clears away bacteria and damaged tissue to relieve pain and save the tooth. A filling restores the function and cosmetic appearance of the tooth; a root canal cleans and protects the soft tissue inside the tooth from further damage.
Is it a painful procedure?
A filling does not happen in areas of the tooth where there are nerves, so you shouldn’t feel any more pain from the procedure than you would feel from cutting your hair. No nerves = no pain.

How long do fillings last?
According to https://allsmilesdentalgroup.com/ cavity/dental fillers usually last anywhere from 7-20 years, although this depends on the location of the filling, the size, and your dental hygiene.

Fillings put up with a lot of stress! Every time you chew, it is compromised. Little by little, your filling may loosen, which will create a pocket for food to collect and cause further decay.

This makes dental visits more paramount than ever! Visiting your dentist every 6 months could deter your filling from becoming a serious issue
How do I take care of my filling?
Once you undergo the filling process, make sure you take great care of your dental health. In fact, according to https://www.dramyfarmer.com/,you need to treat your dental fillings as you do your natural teeth. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day can keep your teeth, including your fillings, strong and healthy. Eating a well-balanced diet and limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks can also prevent further tooth damage and decay.

With composite fillings, you can eat and chew as normal. However, it is a good idea to avoid or limit hard-to-eat foods (e.g., apples and hard candy) as they can put stress on your fillings and teeth.
Avoid biting into hard objects such as fingernails, bottle caps, and pens. Liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine should also be avoided as they can stain both your natural teeth and fillings.
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