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How To Choose The Best Dental Fillings

Maintaining good oral and dental health is possible through a variety of different procedures. Of these, one of the common treatments is for dental cavities. Due to unhygienic practices, diseases, prolonged medication, types of food consumed, or genetics, tooth decay is prevalent among a lot of people.

The tooth is made up of different layers. In the inner core of the tooth, you will find blood supply and nerves that nourish the teeth.

Dental cavities are formed when there is plaque or tartar formation in the teeth. This is formed by unchecked bacterial action. Bacteria get attracted to the food particles that get stuck in between the teeth. They work on the food and release an acid that erodes the teeth of its protective covering and causes decay.

Dental fillings and the procedure

Protecting the teeth from severe damage and supporting the teeth to perform their functions is the primary purpose of the dental fillings treatment. This procedure can be used to save the tooth by removing the decay.

Let’s take a look at what exactly is done during the procedure.

It starts with drilling a hole to widen the opening on the tooth. Then using specialised tools, the decay in the tooth cavity is removed. A filling material is then pushed into the disinfected and cleaned cavity. It will harden and fill up the space in the tooth. This procedure arrests further damage to the tooth and the oral health is preserved.

This type of removing the decay and saving is the teeth is also done in the case of root canal treatment. In severe cases, the tooth gets infected and the decay reaches the root which then damages the whole tooth. This infection can also spread to neighbouring teeth and gum tissues as well. In this case, the tooth structure is saved by cleaning away the decay and sealing the space, thus preventing further decay.

Types of dental fillings to choose from

Now let us take a look at the different types of fillings that are available.

At the clinic, the preliminary examination will help the dentist understand the exact nature of the issue and also provide information on which type of dental fillings are suitable. Some dental fillings offer more durability when compared to others, while some other material makes it easy to match the colour of the natural teeth exactly. After the examination, the dentist will discuss the findings of the examination and provide different options that are suited.

Composite fillings

Composite ceramic fillings are the common filling that is used by many. As the name suggests it is made by a combination of plastic and resin and is very similar in colour to natural teeth. This is one of the main reasons it is chosen by many. If it is the front teeth that need the filling, then the dentist will suggest composite fillings which blend well with the natural teeth. The durability of composite filling is relatively lower than others, but with proper care, they can last between five to ten years.

Gold fillings

Metal fillings have been used for a long time and gold fillings have always been preferred by many since the treatments started. This metal provides good support and strength to the teeth and lasts for about twenty years or more.

Moreover, the presence of gold fillings does not affect the gum tissues. But the drawback is that gold is expensive. As they are quite sturdy, they cannot be readily applied to the teeth either. They need to be first shaped to be accepted as dental filling and so will require more time at the clinic.

Amalgam fillings

Another filling that uses metals is the amalgam fillings, but this is a mixture of metals. The different metals used are tin, zinc, silver and copper in different amounts. Cost-wise, this is more affordable than gold fillings. It offers good sturdy support to the teeth and is especially suitable for teeth that are used for grinding, at the back of the mouth. They can also be used on teeth which have large cavities. Some people may shy away from using this filling as they are not similar to the colour of the teeth. But they are usually chosen when strong and durable filling is needed at the back of the mouth.

Glass ionomer fillings

These fillings are also known as acrylic fillings. The best advantage of these fillings is that they contain fluoride that helps prevent decay of the teeth. They mimic the natural teeth to a great extent but are not as sturdy as the other metal fillings and can be used for a maximum of five years mostly. As children’s teeth development has not been completed, these fillings are usually recommended for children. These acrylic fillings are made in dental labs after the impression of the tooth is taken. Glass ionomer is a bit expensive when compared with other fillings.

It is important to take notice when there are certain signs that point towards dental issues. Darkening of the teeth or discolouration of the teeth is noticed, this is because the cavity that is developing will change the colour of the teeth. The tooth will experience sensitivity when consuming food. This is the result of the dental enamel eroding and the inner core of the tooth becoming more exposed to the hot/cold food that is consumed. Replacement filling will also be needed if the filling that is used gets worn off or falls out. When the decay has progressed, many people can feel or even see a cavity in their teeth when they examine their teeth.

Dental fillings help repair dental cavities so they do not progress to severe dental problems. They also repair the cracks that are left on the tooth due to wear and tear. It is important to practice good dental hygiene even after fillings are used. Brushing twice a day, flossing to remove food particles between the teeth and regular dental consultations will help preserve dental health.

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