Dental Filling: What is a Filling and When is it Needed?

Dental filling

Are you familiar with the feeling when you bite into something hot or very cold and feel a sudden sharp toothache? It is an unpleasant experience that always causes anxiety and stress. Fortunately, the advancement of the dental industry has made possible the existence of various types of dental fillings - the perfect solution to this common uncomfortable dental problem. In this blog we deal with dental fillings, we explore all types of fillings, the advantages of each, as well as the best ways to keep teeth and mouth clean before and after fillings are installed. Join us because below we answer all the questions you asked about the treatment procedure, the occurrence of pain, and the recovery time. Here we go!

What is a dental filling and what is it for?

Amalgam dental filling

A filling is a protective layer used to repair and restore a tooth affected by caries, injury, or trauma. It usually involves removing the damaged part of the tooth and replacing it with a material that covers and protects the tooth. Fillings improve the appearance of the tooth and restore its natural function.

When is a dental filling used?

Cavity in the tooth

A dental filling is used in cases where there is a cavity in the tooth caused by the removal of caries or a damaged area of ​​the tooth. The filling then serves to fill the area, restore the shape of the tooth and prevent further decay, which with proper care and regular examinations can last for years.

What is tooth filling and what does the filling process look like?

The process of filling teeth

A dental filling is a dental procedure to repair a cavity or crack in a tooth that involves removing the damaged area, cleaning the tooth, and filling it with a material such as composite, amalgam, or ceramic. The dentist will shape the filling, harden it with a laser and polish it for a more natural tooth appearance.

What types of fillings exist and how to choose the right filling?

Types of dental fillings

When it comes to choosing a filling, several types or materials are available today, the most common of which are: amalgam, composite and ceramic. The best way to choose the right filling is to consult with your dentist who will take into account the general condition of the teeth, the quality of the filling, and the aesthetics you are looking for.

We present to you three basic types of dental fillings in dental practice, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each of them:

  • Dental amalgam filling: Amalgam fillings, also known as black or silver fillings, are made of metal, they are characterized by their durability, and affordability, but also their aesthetic unattractiveness, which is why they are an increasingly rare choice for patients.
  • Tooth-colored composite resin: Because of its adaptability, the composite resin is a popular option for repairing cavities and restoring the natural appearance and color of teeth.
  • Ceramic fillings: Ceramic is a strong material that matches the color of the teeth and is the most durable option. Today, ceramic inlays and onlays are also a good choice for the restoration of major tooth damage.

How is a filling placed and what are the possible complications?

Placing a dental filling

A filling is used to repair a tooth affected by caries, a crack, or a fracture. The dentist removes the damaged area, cleans the tooth, and then fills it with adequate composite material. Complications can be sensitivity to hot and cold, sensitivity to pressure, or, in rare cases, infection.

How long does the tooth filling process take?

The process of filling a tooth with a filling usually requires only one visit to the dentist lasting about half an hour. During the visit, the dentist will clean and prepare the tooth for filling, then place the filling and polish it. With modern developments, the process is fast, easy, and painless!

Is tooth filling painful?

Dental anesthesia

No, the tooth-filling process is not painful! If necessary, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic to make sure you don't feel any discomfort. After the cavity is filled, you may feel some tenderness, but it should disappear quickly. With the advancement of technology, the procedure is efficient and easy.

How to take care of tooth fillings?

Brushing teeth

Immediately after filling the teeth, continue with regular hygiene, use a brush with soft fibers, as well as floss for inaccessible parts of the teeth, and avoid sticky and hard foods. Be sure to follow a regular dental routine and consult your dentist for any additional advice.

To ensure the longevity of fillings, it is important to follow these tips:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes: Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste helps to remove plaque and bacteria that can cause cavities and other dental diseases.
  • Floss at least once a day: Flossing effectively removes food particles and plaque between the teeth and along the gum line.
  • Avoid sticky foods: Sweet and sticky foods can loosen fillings and damage teeth.
  • Use a mouth guard: While participating in a sporting activity, wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and fillings from possible injury or damage.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol: Tobacco and alcohol greatly damage the quality and color of teeth and fillings.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, which helps prevent the build-up of cavities and harmful bacteria, and also helps wash away food particles in the recesses of the mouth and teeth.

What does the tooth look like after filling?

After filling, the tooth looks much healthier! The filling material closes all cavities preventing further deterioration. The surface of the tooth is smooth and uniform, and the color of the filling material will blend in with the natural color of the tooth. On top of that, with proper care, the filling can last for years!

How to prevent complications after tooth filling?

Regular dental examination

Prevention of complications after dental fillings is possible with good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations, which will ensure that the fillings are properly placed and maintained. Take care of your teeth daily, use paste, brush and floss, and avoid eating sticky and hard foods.

We suggest a few more useful ways to properly care for your teeth at home after placing a filling:

  • Use toothpaste with fluoride: Fluoride is an important mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel and effectively protect teeth from cavities.
  • Avoid sugar: Constant intake of sweet foods and drinks can cause tooth decay, which damages teeth and eventually leads to their decay.
  • Eat healthy foods: A balanced diet with foods rich in vitamins and minerals can help keep teeth strong and durable for many years.
  • Pay attention to teeth grinding: Clenching or grinding the jaw puts pressure on the filled teeth, which can cause discomfort and pain due to the sensitivity of the area.
  • Visit the dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups can help identify any dental problems and prevent them from worsening in time.
  • Follow your dentist's instructions: Following your dentist's instructions can significantly help the recovery process go smoothly, as well as minimize the risk of possible complications.

ConclusionPainless tooth filling

Dental filling may seem like a stressful experience, but today it is certainly not like that. With modern technology, the procedure is quick and painless, and the end result is a healthier, more confident smile. With a wide range of materials available, you can find the perfect filling to suit your individual needs and preferences. Overcome your fear of the dentist and with proper care and regular dental checkups, you can have priceless results that are worth every effort!

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