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|Restorative dentistry (Fillings)|
In the past, teeth were most commonly repaired with amalgam (silver) fillings or gold restorations. Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, teeth can be restored with a more aesthetic and natural appearance. There are different types of cosmetic fillings currently available .The type used will depend on the location of the tooth and the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired.
The most simple form of “white filling ‘ is technically called a Composite. It is made up of a composite quartz resin and usually contains some sort of light sensitive agent. These light cured composites are extremely cosmetic and most often bonded into place in one appointment .For this reason, they are often referred to as “bonding “ They can be used in both the front of the mouth as well as in your back teeth. These materials come in variety of shades so that they will match the color of your own teeth. Some of these composite materials have been specifically designed to actually withstand the incredible forces you can exert when chewing on your back teeth.
Indirect Composite / porcelain Inlay
The other type of “white filling" is called a Composite or Porcelain Inlay. These fillings are usually placed in back teeth when esthetics is of utmost concern. In order to increase their strength and longevity, they are fabricated in the laboratory and then bonded into position in the office. This is a two-visit procedure rather than the one visit the extra time and expense is well worth it! I hope that you now understand a little bit more about white fillings.
More advantages of white restorations
When we place an amalgam filling, we have to remove extra healthy tooth structure, just so the filling will stay in place. When we restore your tooth with composite resin, we only need to remove the decayed portion, because the bond anchors the material tightly in place. This means you retain more healthy tooth structure.
Also, because white fillings are bonded to your tooth, they add strength to the tooth.
So if you're looking for an attractive and effective option for restoring one or more decayed teeth, be sure to ask us about the latest choices in white restorative materials
Silver fillings, otherwise known as Amalgams, are an alloy of several metals (silver, Zinc, Tin etc.) and Mercury. Once mixed, they make up dental amalgam. This restoration has been used successively for many, many years and has stood the test of time. Periodically, reports are generated about the possibility of mercury toxicity from old existing silver fillings. To date, it is the opinion of the American Dental Association that there is no substantial proof that dental amalgam poses any threat to the safety of the dental public.
New silver fillings can be sensitive to hot and cold liquids and other foods for the first four to six weeks or in some special cases, even longer. If the sensitivity your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
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Frequently Asked Questions about dental fillings (FAQ)
What's a Temporary Filling and Why Would I Need One?
Temporary fillings are used under the following circumstances:
Temporary fillings are just that; they are not meant to last. They usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within 1 month. Be sure to contact your dentist to have your temporary filling replaced with a permanent one. If you don't, your tooth could become infected or you could have other complications.
How Should I Care for My Teeth With Fillings?
To maintain your fillings, you should follow good oral hygiene practices – visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings, brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and flossing at least once daily. If your dentist suspects that a filling might be cracked or is "leaking" (when the sides of the filling don't fit tightly against the tooth, this allows debris and saliva to seep down between the filling and the tooth, which can lead to decay), he or she will take X-rays to assess the situation. If your tooth is extremely sensitive, if you feel a sharp edge, if you notice a crack in the filling, or if a piece of the filling is missing, call your dentist for an appointment.
How do I prevent tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure and can affect both the enamel (the outer coating of the tooth) and the dentin layer of the tooth.
Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods, turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities, or caries
What are potential Problems With Dental Fillings
Tooth sensitivity following placement of a filling is fairly common. A tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods, or temperature. Usually, the sensitivity resolves on its own within a few weeks. During this time, avoid those things that are causing the sensitivity. Pain relievers are generally not required.
Contact your dentist if the sensitivity does not subside within 2 to 4 weeks or if your tooth is extremely sensitive. He or she may recommend you use a desensitizing toothpaste, may apply a desensitizing agent to the tooth, or possibly suggest a root canal procedure.
Pain around the fillings can also occur. If you experience pain when you bite, the filling is interfering with yourbite. You will need to return to your dentist and have the filling reshaped. If you experience pain when your teeth touch, the pain The pain is likely caused by the touching of two different metal surfaces (for example, the silver amalgam in a newly filled tooth and a gold crown on another tooth with which it touches). This pain should resolve on its own within a short period of time.
If the decay was very deep to the pulp of the tooth, you may experience a "toothache-type" pain. This "toothache" response may indicate this tissue is no longer healthy. If this is the case, "root canal" treatment will be required.
Sometimes people experience what is known as referred pain -- pain or sensitivity in other teeth besides the one that received the filling. With this particular pain, there is likely nothing wrong with your teeth. The filled tooth is simply passing along "pain signals" it's receiving to other teeth. This pain should decrease on its ownover 1 to 2 weeks.
Are there any Allergic reactions to dental Fillings?
Allergic reactions to silver fillings are rare. Fewer than 100 cases have ever been reported, according to the ADA. In these rare circumstances, mercury or one of the metals used in an amalgam restoration is thought to trigger the allergic response. Symptoms of amalgam allergy are similar to those experienced in a typical skin allergy and include skin rashes and itching. Patients who suffer amalgam allergies typically have a medical or family history of allergies to metals. Once an allergy is confirmed, another restorative material can be used.
What about Deteriorating Fillings?
Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings to wear away, chip or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up.
If the seal between the tooth enamel and the filling breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the filling. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscessed tooth.
If the filling is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown.
New fillings that fall out are probably the result of improper cavity preparation, contamination of the preparation prior to placement of the restoration or a fracture of the restoration from bite or chewing trauma. Older restorations will generally be lost due to decay or fracturing of the remaining tooth.
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