By Dr Yannopulos · Published January 21, 2019

Tooth fillings and restorations

Tooth fillings and restorations preview image

Preview image for Tooth fillings and restorations

Dentistry tries to save the teeth and surrounding tissues by means of restorative procedures. Repairing damaged or missing tooth structure is what restorative dentistry aims at. The focus is that the tooth structure is not removed completely but with proper procedures and treatment the oral health is restored to its original function and structure along with giving importance to aesthetics.

Restorative procedures vary according to individual needs. This can be fixing crowns, replacing lost teeth – partial or complete or tooth filling. The health of the person, what is ideally suited according to the oral health needs, feasible option according to one’s financial plan is all considered when restorative procedures are decided.

Different types of tooth restoration

Depending on where the restorations are made – there are two types – direct and indirect. Direct restoration is the procedure that are done inside the mouth, while Indirect restorations are done outside supporting the tooth structures. Tooth fillings are considered one of the main types of direct restorations. Fixing crowns and placing veneers are indirect procedures.

Tooth filling as a restorative method

Tooth fillings are one of the most common types of restorative procedures that are done in dental clinics. Tooth fillings helps to restore teeth to its normal structure and function. The decayed or damaged part of the teeth is removed and treatment is done to preserve the remaining healthy portion of the teeth.

The areas which are infected with bacteria is removed and is sealed off to stop further bacterial action. There are different types of fillings that are available. The type of filling is decided based on the type of repair that needs to be done, if a person is allergic to certain types of fillings then that is also considered when tooth fillings are decided on.

Different types of tooth filling

  1. Metal fillings

Gold and silver fillings are the common metal fillings used in restorative dentistry. Both these metals are accepted well by oral tissues hence they are used extensively. Gold fillings are expensive than silver fillings and also need multiple visits for the procedure. Silver fillings are generally more noticeable than gold fillings and are avoided when fillings need to be made in the front teeth for aesthetic reasons.

  1. Composite fillings

These fillings have colour similar to that of natural teeth. These resin filings have a mixture of glass or quartz fillings that give the natural colour. They are also durable and favoured when small restorations are needed. These fillings are so versatile they can also be used to repair teeth that are chipped or broken.

  1. Ceramic fillings

Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain fillings and are also tooth coloured like the composite fillings. They have an advantage over composite fillings in that they do not show stains on them unlike the former fillings. The cost of ceramic fillings can be as high as gold fillings due to the strong properties they bring in when they are used as fillings.

  1. Amalgam fillings

This is one of the most common fillings used as they are durable. They are favoured mostly when there is a need for filling for teeth at the back of the mouth as they are sturdy and strong. The major part of chewing of food takes place in these areas and there is the need for fillings to be strong to withstand the pressure of chewing in these areas. Lest it would need constant replacement.

  1. Glass fillings

These fillings are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass materials. They are generally the most favoured fillings for children. One good advantage these fillings have is that they release fluoride and offer extra protection for the teeth. When compared with other fillings though they do not have good durability.

Advantages of Tooth fillings

Tooth fillings help to restore oral health and make sure that the structure and function of the teeth are maintained. Further damage to the pain and functionality is preserved through this procedure. The pain felt due to bacterial infection is stopped through this procedure. Damage to the neighbouring teeth and gums is also stopped as a result of this treatment.

Cavities in the teeth can become breeding ground for bacteria, this can lead to a condition called bad breath or halitosis. Fillings these cavities help to make sure that this does not happen. If left unchecked this can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Gum diseases can also result if left unchecked. Structure of the jaw bone is also known to be affected due to this.

Fillings are generally considered to be permanent fillings, they last longer. But there are situations when these fillings can loosen and fall out – this is known to happen very rarely. Tooth tissue will feel sensitivity and pain when this happens. It is best that services of a dentist are availed at the earliest. Depending on the need of the treatment – they can be a quick procedure and also long lasting procedures.

To make sure that fillings last long, they need proper care. Brushing and cleaning of teeth need to be done regularly. Flossing of teeth should also be done to remove any bacterial build up between the teeth. Following good habits and taking care of one’s diet is very important in maintaining good oral health.

For maintaining good oral health the need for regular dental check-ups is also important. When dental consultations are conducted, the correct nature of oral health can be understood. Dentists with their expertise and technical know- how are able to provide a complete information about oral health. The procedures that are required to maintain good oral health, if there is a need for a change of habits – be it cleaning or food habits – all these are examined during consultations. Consultations are not just dental examinations but rather educative sessions also for patients. Going for dental consultations twice a year helps a person to understand their oral health and also take measures to maintain good oral health and hygiene for the future.