A filling is a method of restoring a tooth which is damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, firstly they remove the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a specialized material (tooth-coloured) to revive the function, integrity & morphology of the tooth.
What are Dental Fillings?
If you are having tooth decay, the dentist removes the superficial decay and the resultant cavity is filled by specialized material (tooth-coloured) to restore the function, integrity & morphology of the tooth. It is used to restore the function, integrity & morphology of missing tooth structure. With the advancements in modern dentistry, this process has become much more comfortable and the materials used are safer and more aesthetically agreeable.
What are the types of Dental Fillings?
Mainly there are two types:
1.Silver Amalgam (Silver + Mercury)
2.Composite Resin (Tooth Colored)
Various other types of filling materials are also being used by the dentists depending on distinct requirements like Glass Ionomer, certain dental cements etc.
Amalgam has been widely used for direct fillings, mainly for posterior teeth, but because of certain disadvantages like its metallic color, taste, leaching out of mercury, tendency to shrink & corrode, the tooth has an unaesthetic appearance, it is less preferred by the patients & dentists.
Composite Resin (Light Cure Filling)
Composite Resin is preferred, in modern dentistry as it is having sufficient strength, is of tooth color & easy to handle. It has got best finishing & polishing & various shades are available making it look very natural. Disadvantages are its technique sensitivity, tendency to discolour over a long duration of time. If not done accurately, can result in post filling sensitivity.
Glass Ionomer Cement
Glass lonomer cement has a specialized use, especially in milk teeth cavities & non-stress bearing areas. The advantage is that it is white-coloured & release fluorides which help in controlling secondary caries but it doesn’t have adequate strength. Material is difficult to handle & requires absolute dry field. It’s drawback is that it cannot be immediately finished & polished hence, requires another sitting.