Understanding Dental Fillings – Dentist Greystanes
Dental fillings are used to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay or minor fractures. They play a crucial role in restoring the function and structure of a tooth.
Types of Dental Fillings
1. Amalgam Fillings:
Composition: Amalgam fillings are made from a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury.
Durability: They are known for their durability and longevity, making them suitable for high-stress areas like molars.
Appearance: They have a silver-grey colour, which can be noticeable in the mouth.
2. Composite Fillings:
Composition: Composite fillings are composed of a mixture of plastic resin and fine glass particles.
Durability: They are less durable than amalgam fillings and are typically used for smaller cavities or areas with less pressure.
Appearance: They can be matched to the colour of natural teeth, making them more aesthetically pleasing.
3. Ceramic Fillings (Inlays and Onlays):
Composition: Ceramic fillings, also known as porcelain fillings, are made from a ceramic material that closely resembles natural tooth enamel.
Durability: They are highly durable and are often used for larger restorations.
Appearance: They are tooth-coloured and provide a natural-looking restoration.
4. Glass Ionomer Fillings:
Composition: Glass ionomer fillings are made from a mixture of acrylic and glass powders.
Durability: They are less durable than amalgam or composite fillings and are commonly used for non-load-bearing areas or in paediatric dentistry.
Appearance: They have a translucent appearance and are tooth-coloured.
The Dental Filling Procedure
1. Examination and Diagnosis:
The dentist begins by examining the affected tooth and taking X-rays to assess the extent of the decay or damage.
Before the procedure, the area around the tooth is numbed using a local anaesthetic to ensure the patient’s comfort.
3. Removal of Decay or Damage:
The dentist uses a dental drill or laser to remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth, leaving a clean cavity.
4. Filling Placement:
The chosen filling material is placed into the prepared cavity. The dentist carefully shapes and contours the filling to ensure a proper fit.
5. Polishing and Finishing:
The filling is polished to smooth out any rough edges and ensure a natural bite.
Aftercare and Considerations
Sensitivity: Some sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures may occur after the procedure, but this typically subsides within a few days.
Regular Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups, are crucial for maintaining the longevity of the filling.
Avoiding Hard Foods: It’s advisable to avoid hard or sticky foods that may put excessive pressure on the filling.
Dental fillings are a common and effective treatment for restoring teeth affected by decay or minor damage. The choice of filling material depends on factors such as location, size of the restoration, and aesthetic preferences. Following proper aftercare and maintaining good oral hygiene practices can help ensure the longevity and effectiveness of dental fillings. Regular dental check-ups allow dentists to monitor the condition of fillings and address any potential issues in a timely manner.
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