- A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. If treated early most teeth can be saved with dental fillings, however if the decay is deep it may lead to a root canal treatment or an extraction. Hence it is important to get regular check ups and fill your cavities at an early stage before it is too late!!
- Dental fillings are also used to correct fractures, cracks, gaps or stains in teeth. This is dependent on the artistic ability of the Dentist. Without any laboratory assistance, the dentist sculpts the material, matches the exact colour of the tooth, polishes and thereby restores you the original shape and colour of your teeth.
How do I know if I need dental fillings?
- Toothache that lasts for more than a few minutes.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
- Sensitivity to sweet foods and beverages.
- Visible discoloration or holes on the surface of your teeth.
- However, it is important to realize that small to medium sized cavities might not cause pain or discomfort right away. At Maskati Dental Center we use x-rays, dyes, and specialized instruments to identify minor damage and decay. Regular visits will allow us to find and address these small issues before they become serious problems.
What are the different types of dental fillings?
- The age old silver amalgam fillings sacrifice a large amount of tooth structure, are un aesthetic and the presence of elemental mercury in them raises mounting concerns of toxicity and allergy. Hence at Maskati Dental Center we ONLY use tooth coloured fillings.
- Composite Resin is matched to be the same colour as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. It is made of plastic and glass. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden with the help of UV light.
- This type of filling is made from ceramic. They are called inlays or onlays. Like composite resin, porcelain fillings are blended to match the colour of the surrounding tooth. Porcelain fillings offer superior stain resistance and durability compared to composite resin, but they tend to be more expensive.
What can I expect during my dental filling appointment?
- Local anesthesia – At the beginning of your filling procedure, you MAY be given local anaesthesia to numb the area around the tooth if the decay is deep.
- Tooth decay removal -The dentist will cut through the enamel and/or dentin using a drill to remove any decay. After the dentist removes the decay, the dentist will shape the space to get it ready for the filling.
- Etching – The dentist will etch the tooth with an acid gel in order to make it rough for better bonding. This will be followed by application of a bonding agent.
- Resin application -The dentist will then layer on the resin and harden it using a bright light. This will increase its strength.
- Polishing – after the filling has been placed, your dentist will polish the tooth. Most fillings can be completed in one visit.
- Porcelain fillings typically require two visits. During the first visit, your dentist will remove the damaged area and take an impression of the tooth. The mold is sent to a dental lab that makes custom porcelain fillings. When you come back for your second visit, your dentist will bond the filling to your tooth.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please call us.
- Your anaesthesia will wear off in approximately 1 to 3 hours after the procedure. It is very important not to chew on the numb side (to prevent biting tongue, lip, etc.) until the anaesthesia wears off.
- Children should be observed until the anaesthesia has worn off. Due to the strange feeling of the anaesthetic, many children chew on the inside of their cheeks, lips and tongue which can cause serious damage.
- Your tooth (or teeth) may be sensitive to hot, cold or pressure from this procedure. This is completely normal. The possible symptoms of hot, cold or pressure sensitivity will cease within a few days to a couple of weeks. In very few instances, this sensitivity could last longer than a couple of weeks. As long as your teeth or gums are continuing to feel better, (not staying the same, or getting worse) everything is fine, and there is no need for concern.
- Once the anaesthesia has worn off, if you feel as though any of the teeth are hitting first when you bite down, please give our center a call immediately. This imbalance with your bite may cause further discomfort and should be adjusted.
- Composite fillings set right away and can be chewed on as soon as the anaesthetic wears off.