How to Decide What Type of Dental Fillings Are Best Suited for You

Type of Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are substances that the dentist fill in the tooth when he cleans your decayed tooth and removes debris from it so that the tooth becomes operational again. In addition to fill the space in the tooth, they also help repair cracks in teeth, and teeth which have been worn out by excessive grinding and nail-biting.

Why are dental fillings necessary?

Dental fillings are used make the teeth stronger by artificial materials other than natural teeth. Whenever you have tooth ache, the dentist will try to find the cause and if it turns out that you have dental caries, or tooth decay in your aching tooth, he will proceed with removal of the decay from the tooth after initial examination and uses of anaesthesia if required. Once the decay has been removed, he will clean the debris created by the procedure and clean the area with sanitizer to make sure no bacterial material is left behind. Once the cleaning is done you are left with a hole in the tooth. This hole has to be filled with some material so that the tooth can do its work for which it is created, which is chewing. Chewing exerts lot of pressure on teeth and gums and therefor it has to be strong. To make the tooth strong again the dentist will have to use dental fillings which will work to fill the space in the tooth and make the tooth operable again.

Dental fillings are also used in case of broken or cracked teeth. If you happen to break a tooth in such a way that it has jagged outlines, it hurts the mouth and tongue because of sharp edges. In these cases also the dentist will use a dental filling to make the tooth look normal again and smooth out the outline of the tooth. Similarly, if cracks develop in the tooth due to wear and tear or by accident, the dental fillings are used to fill the crack and make them not so apparent.

Sometimes dental fillings are used when because of whatever reason a big chunk of tooth is broken but the root is safe. In such a case, the dentist will use dental filling to make the tooth whole again so that it can look and work as a normal tooth again. In all these cases, dental fillings can be used as long as the root or the base of the tooth is strong and undamaged, and it stands well in the jawbone.

There are various uses of dental fillings and depending on the cause for which it used, the choice of material of dental filling also varies. The choice of material dental filling also depends on the cost and the individual differences in choices. There is a variety of material for dental fillings to choose from. Your dentist will explain the and help you to choose from the selection that is available in the market.

Materials available for dental fillings

The choice is diverse, including gold, silver, porcelain, silver amalgam, plastic, glass ionomers and composite resin. Silver amalgam may have a combination of mercury with zinc, tin, or copper.

Gold Fillings:

Gold fillings are one of the most durable and strong fillings which can last for years, without corrosion and can endure pressures of chewing, which some people find pleasing to the eye than other fillings. They are very expensive – may be 10 times the cost of amalgam. It also takes more time getting fixed and if placed next to amalgam fillings may produce galvanic shock because of interaction between metals.

Silver Amalgam Fillings:

Silver fillings are longer lasting than composite fillings by many years, and can withstand chewing pressure very well. They are not expensive compared to composite fillings. They are not tooth coloured and therefore are very obvious, in addition to giving a greyish hue to the neighbouring teeth. They need space to be fitted and may require the tooth to be scraped to accommodate the filling, since they expand and contract with hot and cold food more than other composites, resulting in fractures.

Resin Composites:

These are made according to the colour of the teeth, and blend well with neighbouring teeth therefore hardly noticeable. They are preferred when front teeth are concerned. The metal is well suited for bonding and suits very well for supporting the tooth. This material lends itself to be used not only for filling cavities, but also for chipped broken or worn-out teeth. Composite fillings are less durable than amalgam fillings and may take a little longer to be filled in than amalgam. Sometimes composite materials chip off the tooth depending on where they have been used. They are more expensive than amalgam.

Ceramics:

These are made from porcelain and are strong and lasting. At the same time, they are second most expensive than gold. They nearly match the natural tooth in appearance and scarcely noticeable apart from natural teeth. They are very appealing and can withstand the pressure chewing very well. In addition to be used as fillings, they are very well suited when front teeth need to be repaired for cracks.

Glass ionomers:

These fillings are made from acrylic and a special kind of glass. This material is most often used for young children and when required to fill a space below gumline. Glass ionomers are useful as a filling because they release fluoride which helps teeth from getting bacterial growth and decay. Glass ionomers are not as strong as composite and is prone to getting cracked under chewing pressure. It is not very expensive but the lifespan of glass ionomers is about 5 to 6 years.

When your dentist explains the various qualities of the available dental fillings, you will be required to consider the qualities of each and decide according to your priority. You will need to compare prices, keeping in mind your insurance and dental plan and how much additional cost you can bear. Also, you will have to consider the aesthetic value of each choice and decide on what you like. Your choice also will depend on your medical condition, whether you are on special medication, or a special diet and how the material in the dental fillings may interact with the medicines you are taking at present.

How do you deal with your dental fillings falling out?

dental fillings falling out

Dental cavities may occur in any area of the tooth. The decay creates small holes in the tooth which become larger and can completely destroy the tooth if left unchecked. The treatment for dental cavities involves filling the hole with some material so that the tooth becomes whole again. The material that is used to fill the hole in the decayed tooth is called a dental filling.

Dental fillings, like all other things in the world, do not last forever. Sometimes a dental filling may fall out causing worries and discomfort to the person concerned.

Reasons why dental fillings fall out

Here are some common reasons why dental fillings may fall out.

1. Not enough time given to set the filling

When you start chewing the food from the same side where the tooth was filled with filling material, before it is well set, there are chances that the filling come loose and fall out. It is advisable to wait for at least 24 hours before you start chewing food using the treated tooth.

2. Hard and sticky foods

When you consume very sticky foods, they tend to get stuck between upper and lower teeth and trying to separate the teeth the filling may get pulled out because of force. Even hard foods can have the same effect. You have to use force to bite into hard foods which applies a force on the treated tooth, and it may cause the filling to come loose.

3. Trauma to the tooth or the root

When you fall or sustain an injury from sports or accidents, the trauma on or around the treated tooth may cause the filling to loosen and fall off.

4. Chemical reactions from foods or medicines

Dental fillings are filled with a chemical for it to get fixed in the place. Because of reactions with other chemicals that comes from the medication or foods that you eat; the filling may get undone and fall off.

5. Newly developed decay around the tooth

Sometimes the adjoining tooth develops decay and cavity which causes the filling to get loosened because of the bacterial growth next to the area of filling.

6. Bruxism or teeth grinding

The habit of teeth grind puts pressure on the filling and make it loose, and fall off.

What to do when a filling falls out

Here is what you can do if you ever have a dental filling fall out. Don’t panic. You can easily rectify the situation at a dental clinic.

Make an appointment with the dentist

The first thing to do when you realize your dental filling has fallen off is to call your dentist and ask for an appointment. If the dentist cannot see you right away, ask them how to take care of the filling and the tooth. This is to ensure that the exposed tooth does not become more susceptible to decay and cavities.

Keep the tooth safe

If the filling has become loose, it is advisable to take it out yourself so that you do not accidentally swallow it or chew on it. Whether or not you get an appointment with your dentist, you have to keep your tooth safe and protected.

Keep your filling also safe. How long you can keep your filling safe depends on the material that is used in the filling. Keeping the filling safe is important so that your dentist can and may reuse it. Also looking at the filling your dentist may be able to gauge why the filling has fallen out.

Gargle with salt water

Till you can see your dentist, it is a good idea to gargle your mouth with salt water. Keep the tooth and the area very clean. Gargling will help remove and food remnants from the tooth which may get in the cavity created by fallen off filling. It will remove bacteria if any.

Maintain dental hygiene

Dental hygiene routine should be kept in place, except that be gentle around the area of the tooth from which filling has taken off.

You can use mouth wash instead or warm water to keep the area clean and stop further growth of bacteria.

Relieve pain

If a lot of discomfort prevents you from carrying out normal tasks you can take a pain reliever which suits you.

When the filling has loosened from a tooth where you can reach, application of a little clove oil helps relieve the pain. Clove oil has been found to relieve toothaches effectively in emergencies, till you can see your dentist.

Complications of loosened and fallen dental filling.

If the tooth remains without filling for many days, it may get exposed to decay again and put the other teeth in danger of being affected by decay and decline.

Because of the missing filling, your dentine may get exposed. Since dentine is the second layer of tooth after enamel, and softer it is more susceptible to decay.

The more time it takes to replace the filling, the more damage will be caused to the tooth. So get to a dentist quickly so the filling can be replaced at the earliest.

In the meantime, the above tips should help minimize the damage and keep the teeth safe.

All you need to know about dental fillings

about dental fillings

Dental fillings are the materials which are used in dentistry to fill cracks or holes in the teeth. The fillings stop further decay of the tooth by sealing the gaps in teeth, and protects the roots. When the gaps are filled the patient can resume eating and drinking normally.

What is the procedure for filling cracks in teeth?

The procedure for filling the cracks and holes involves the dentist cleaning the area where the filling has to be inserted. The fillings can be matched with the tooth colour.

Before the work on the tooth begins, the dentist will use local anaesthesia on the tooth and surrounding area so that the sensations of pain are numb. The cleaning of the decay is done with an instrument called air abrasion instrument. Now, dentists also use laser which is more precise, but the choice remains with the dentist and his comfort level with the instruments, and the extent of decay which requires cleaning.

The dentist will remove the decay and cleans the are so that all the bacteria and debris are removed. If the root canal treatment had been done, then your dentist may like to line the root with glass ionomer or composite resit which will serve to protect the exposed nerve. After the tooth has been prepared for the filling, the dentist will fill the hole with the filling that has been chosen by you with the dentist’ consultation. Once the filling is in, it will be smoothened. The filling is applied in layers and is dried with UV light before another layer is put. After the completed layering, it will be trimmed and finished with polishing.

The preparation of tooth and other procedures will take more than an hour. Be in time and keep a little more time extra for any unplanned work arising out of the situation.

There are the many options in the materials to choose from for the filling of cavities. The present-day dental professionals use a lot of materials to prepare dental fillings. The choice of fillings material depends on the individual patient and which part of the mouth the decayed tooth is located. The budget is important too. An additional factor that needs a mention is the allergies a patient might have for certain materials.

The material available today are diverse and can fit into any budget. The popular materials used by many patients include gold, silver amalgam, plastic, resin composite, and glass ionomers. There are pros and cons of all the filling materials and your dentist will recommend the one which is best suited to your need. The most commonly used material for fillings is Amalgam and resin composite.

What are the different types of tooth filling materials?

The following are the common types of tooth filling materials available.

Amalgam fillings

These are in use for almost a century. This material is one of the most well-researched filling materials used as cavity filling. Amalgam fillings have been famous among dental professionals because it is very strong. Since it is so strong, it best to be used for molars which are in the back of the mouth, where almost all chewing is done. Since Amalgam is made up of a combination of many metals like mercury, tin, and zinc, it is strong and long lasting. Amalgam is strong but is visible because of its silver tinge, when you laugh. Amalgam is least expensive among all other selection of fillings.

Composite Fillings

These are also called resin composites. They can be made with glass or quartz filler to make it match the colour of the tooth. These fillings are reasonably durable and last long. They are suitable for restorations of small or middle size cavities, for areas which are used for moderate chewing job.

Porcelain

Porcelainfillings are also called ceramic fillings. They are tooth coloured and matches the other teeth, which makes them look pretty. But they are expensive and may cost as much as gold filling.

Metal

Metal fillings include gold and silver fillings. Gold and silver fillings are among the most common expensive fillings. They are long lasting and some people like their looks also. They cannot be matched to the tooth colours and stand out in the mouth. But because of its durability factor they go for it.

Glass Ionomer

These are a blend of acrylic and glass. These fillings release fluoride which helps in protection of teeth. These fillings are not as durable as other metal fillings and therefore have to be replaced often.

How to look after fillings

It is common to feel little discomfort when you get fillings initially. It subsides in a day or two. This may induce you to be hesitant about normal dental care like brushing. But you must follow your normal brushing ate getting fillings for cavities. Usually fillings last for long, but you may find that some fillings fall out soon after put in place. If you find your filling fallen out, contact your dentist immediately. It has to be filled again immediately otherwise your cavities will attract bacteria and further decay.

Usually tooth fillings las long. But they will wear and tear after some time naturally, and will need to be replaced. People who have the habit of teeth grinding will need more frequent replacements.

Cracked fillings

When you notice cracks or worn out fillings, you can ask the dentist to get a replacement. Do not go on chewing foods with a crack in the filling because it may make the tooth to crack., which will lead to more extensive work and more expense. Tooth decay can develop around the cracked filling and may lead to complications. When you get infections around a filling then your dentist may decide to make a crown rather than use a filling again.

Pulled away fillings

Sometimes the filling may pull away from the base of the tooth and create a tiny space where bacteria can reside and infections set in. If you notice a space between the tooth and the filling immediately visit your dentist.

Fillings can get damaged if you injure yourself in sports or accident. See your dentist even if you do not notice any damage to the filling.