A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative product used to restore the function, stability and morphology of missing tooth structure.
The structural loss normally arises from caries or external injury. Foods stuck in your teeth activate bacteria in your mouth to turn them into acids. The acids, food, and bacteria all integrate to make what is called plaque and this plaque stubbornly holds on to your teeth and gnaws at your tooth enamel causing decay and cavities. Tooth decay is what will cause you to obtain what we call cavities, this decay can effect the enamel, external layer of the tooth, and our dentin, the inner layer.
Do You Need a Dental Filling?
Your dental expert may use numerous methods to determine if you have tooth decay (caries), consisting of:
- Observation. Some blemished spots on your teeth might suggest decay, however not all of them. Your dental expert may use an explorer, a metal instrument with a sharp tip, to probe for possible decay. Healthy tooth enamel is hard and will withstand pressure by the explorer. Decayed enamel is softer. The instrument will stick in it somewhat. Explorers need to be used with care. Pressing too tough with an explorer can harm a healthy tooth. It can also spread out the bacteria that cause decay to other teeth.
- Cavity-detecting color. This can be rinsed over your tooth. It will stay with decayed areas and wash easily from healthy ones.
- X-rays. X-rays can reveal decay establishing in the enamel on the sides of teeth where they come together, in addition to in the dentin that lies under the enamel. X-rays are often not accurate in discovering smaller cavities on occlusal (top) surface areas. Current fillings or other repairs also may block the view of decay.
- Laser fluorescence cavity detection aids. These little wands determine modifications triggered by caries. They are especially helpful for pit and fissure areas on the top surfaces of your molar and premolar (chewing) teeth.
Decay is not the only factor you might require a filling. Other reasons include:
- Cracked or broken teeth
Teeth that are worn from uncommon use, such as:
- Tooth grinding (bruxism).
- Using your teeth to open things.
Dental Filling Procedure: Step-by-step Guide
When you visit your dental professional to get a filling, you may be offered local anesthesia to numb the area if necessary. Next, your dental practitioner will remove decay from the tooth, utilizing a drill. Lasers also can be used to eliminate decay.
A drill, which dentists call a handpiece, uses metal cones called burs to cut through the enamel and get rid of the decay. Burs come in lots of shapes and sizes. Your dentist will choose the ones that are right for the size and location of your decay.
Initially, your dentist will use a high speed drill (the one with the familiar whining sound) to eliminate the decay and unsupported enamel of the tooth. Once the drill reaches the dentin, or 2nd layer of the tooth, the dental expert may use a lower speed drill. That’s due to the fact that dentin is softer than enamel.
When all the decay is removed, your dental practitioner will form the space to prepare it for the filling. Different types of fillings require various shaping procedures to make sure they will stay in location. Your dental expert might put in a base or a liner to protect the tooth’s pulp (where the nerves are). The base or liner can be made from composite resin, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, or another product.
Some of these materials launch fluoride to safeguard the tooth from additional decay.
If your dentist is placing a bonded filling, she or he will etch (prepare) the tooth with an acid gel before putting the filling. Etching makes small holes in the tooth’s enamel surface area. The composite product fills out the holes as the dental professional places the filling. A bonding material likewise is used, so the filling bonds to the tooth in two methods. Bonded fillings can decrease the risk of leakage or decay under the filling. Bonding is typically finished with composite fillings.
Specific types of fillings get hardened by a special light. With these fillings, your dental professional will layer the material, stopping numerous times to shine an intense light on the resin. This treatments (hardens) the product and makes it strong.
Lastly, after the filling is placed, your dental professional will use burs to end up and polish the tooth.
What Can Happen after a Dental Filling?
Some people feel level of sensitivity after they receive a filling. The tooth might be delicate to pressure, air, sweet foods or cold. Composite fillings often cause level of sensitivity, but other types of filling products can, too.
The most common reason for pain right after the anesthetic wears off is that the filling is too high. Call your dentist so you can be seen as soon as possible to decrease the height of the filling.
The 2nd kind of discomfort is a very sharp shock that appears only when your teeth touch. This is called galvanic shock. It is brought on by two metals (one in the freshly filled tooth and one in the tooth it’s touching) producing an electric present in your mouth. This would take place, for example, if you had a brand-new amalgam filling in a bottom tooth and had a gold crown in the tooth above it.
In the majority of other cases, the level of sensitivity will decrease over one to two weeks. Until then, attempt to prevent anything that causes it. If your tooth is extremely sensitive or your sensitivity does not reduce after two weeks, contact your dental expert’s workplace.
It is essential to let your dental expert know about any level of sensitivity you are feeling. The next time you require a filling, he or she might be able to use a different material and make modifications to reduce sensitivity. People differ in their reaction to different products. Your dental professional has no other way of predicting if your tooth will react to a specific product.
When you speak to your dental practitioner about the level of sensitivity, attempt to describe it as precisely as possible. This information will assist choose what must be done next. Your dental professional might secure the filling and put in a new one. She or he may add a base, liner or desensitizing representative on the tooth as well. If the filling was extremely deep, you could require a root canal treatment to fix the problem.
Your dental practitioner polishes the filling after it is positioned, but periodically sharp edges may stay. You cannot detect this in the beginning because of the anesthesia. If you discover one, contact your dental expert and set up to have it smoothed as quickly as possible to avoid injury to your tongue or mouth.
You may get a temporary filling (generally white, off-white or gray) if:
- Your treatment requires more than one consultation.
- Your dental expert wants to wait a short time period for the tooth to heal.
- You have a deep cavity and the pulp (including the nerve and capillary) becomes exposed during treatment.
- You need emergency dental treatment.
A temporary filling may make your tooth feel better. This is since the filling seals the tooth, protecting the pulp from bacteria and decreasing sensitivity.
Temporary fillings frequently include eugenol, an ingredient in non-prescription toothache remedies. Eugenol is also a part of oil of cloves, which individuals use for toothache pain.
Temporary fillings are not indicated to last. Usually, they fall out, fracture or break within a month or more. If you get a temporary filling, make sure you visit your dental expert to get a long-term one. If you do not, your tooth might end up being infected or you could have other problems.
Types of Failed Fillings
Fillings don’t last permanently. They can end up being discolored. Composite, tooth-colored fillings get discolorations, and yellow or darken gradually. When you chew, your teeth and any fillings in them are subjected to incredible pressures. Even if no other problems develop, some fillings will wear in time and will need to be changed. A filling will need to be replaced previously if it falls out, leaks or cracks.
Bacteria and bits of food can permeate down under a filling that is split or leaking. Because you can’t clean there, the bacteria feed on the littles food and form the acid that causes dental caries. Decay under a filling can end up being comprehensive prior to you notice it or it causes you pain. This is why you ought to have your fillings examined regularly and get them replaced when issues are found.
Fillings That Fall Out
Fillings can fall out for several factors:
- You bite down too tough on a tooth that has a big filling, and break the filling or the tooth.
- The filling material that was used can not withstand the forces put upon it. For example, if you have actually broken a large piece of your front tooth, a porcelain (tooth-colored) crown is most likely a great treatment choice. In many cases, a dental professional might position a composite filling rather. This may look great or acceptable. Nevertheless, if the composite is too large, a strong biting motion may break the plastic product.
- Saliva enters the cavity when the filling is placed. For composite resins, this will interfere with the bonding of the product. As an outcome, the bond will not stick well to the tooth and it may fall out.
Both amalgam and composite fillings can crack, either right after they are put or after the fillings have been in place for a long time.
Cracks can take place right after a filling is put if the filling is greater than the remainder of the tooth surface area, and should bear the majority of the force of biting. Fractures likewise can take place in time, as the forces from chewing and biting impact the filling and the restored tooth.
Small fractures likewise can happen at the edges of a filling. These normally are triggered by wear over time. These fractures typically can be repaired.
A filling is said to be leaking when the side of the filling doesn’t fit securely against the tooth. Debris and saliva can seep down in between the filling and the tooth. This can result in decay, discoloration or sensitivity.
Both amalgam and composite fillings can leak. An amalgam filling sometimes leakages slightly after it is put. You would discover this as level of sensitivity to cold. This sensitivity decreases for the next 2 to 3 weeks. Then it vanishes altogether. Over that duration, the amalgam filling naturally corrodes. The deterioration seals the edges of the filling and stops any leakages.
A composite filling might be contaminated with saliva. This would weaken the bond between the filling and the tooth and permit leakages. Other times, there might be little gaps where the tooth and filling satisfy. These gaps are triggered by shrinkage when your dental expert positions the filling. Level of sensitivity after getting a composite filling might vanish in time. If it doesn’t, the filling might have to be replaced.
Fillings also can leak as a result of wear in time. These fillings should be changed.
Some fillings can last for 15 years or longer. Others, nevertheless, will need to be replaced in as little as 5 years. Your dental practitioner can determine if your fillings are used enough that they need to be replaced.
Clenching and Grinding
If you clench or grind your teeth, you may have more issues with your fillings. The forces placed on your teeth can cause tooth level of sensitivity and additional wear on your fillings. Clenching or grinding likewise can cause your teeth and fillings to break or develop small trend lines. These are great cracks you can see if you shine a light on your tooth.
Caring Your Fillings
Although some fillings can last for many years, the average life of an amalgam filling has to do with 12 years. Composite fillings might not last this long.
Your dental practitioner will examine your fillings at your examination check outs. You may require X-rays if your dental professional believes a filling may be cracked or leaking, or to see whether decay is occurring under the filling. Make a visit with your dental expert:
- If a tooth is sensitive.
- If you see a fracture.
- If part of a filling appears to be missing out on.
Visit your dental expert regularly for cleansings, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss as soon as a day. If you have many fillings or large fillings, your dental professional might prescribe a fluoride gel you can use at home. The fluoride will help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and assist to avoid future cavities. Your dentist or hygienist also can use a fluoride varnish around the edges of these teeth at your examination check outs.
You also can use rinses that lower the acid level of your mouth. A lower acid level decreases decay-causing bacteria. This can result in less cavities in the future.
If you get cracks in fillings, think about asking your dental expert for a night guard. Wearing it at night can help you stop grinding and clenching your teeth when you are asleep.
Replacing a Filling
Prior to removing your old filling, your dental expert will talk about treatment choices with you. It is frequently possible to repair an old filling instead of removing it and replacing it totally. However, if the whole filling needs to be replaced, the dental expert might reevaluate what filling product to use. Talk with your dental professional about how you would like the filling to look. Then he or she can pick the product that is best for you.