Restorations - Fillings
A dental restoration or filling is one of the most basic dental procedures. A filling restores the integrity of a tooth that’s damaged by either dental decay, chipped, cracked or fractured due to trauma. The affected part of the tooth structure, made of enamel and dentin that’s damaged is first removed to shape the tooth to receive the restoration.
There are 2 main types of restoration, composite and amalgam.
Composite restorations have a major advantage of being highly esthetic and can be designed to closely resemble natural tooth structure. This makes them the natural choice for aesthetic restorations. Composites also ‘bond’ to the tooth structure, making them more conservative in terms of the amount of reduction of natural tooth structure that’s needed.
Dental amalgam is one of oldest, tried and tested dental filling material that combines strength with durability. Sometimes, other filling materials such as Glass Ionomer cements may be needed in sensitive areas of the teeth. At our practice, we discuss the possible options suited to your case and help you choose the best.
How are restorations placed?
Placing a dental restoration generally requires just a single sitting. If required, the tooth is numbed before the decayed part removed carefully to clean the area. The cavity is shaped so as to retain the dental filling material. In deeper cavities, a layer of protective base material may be placed below the filling to protect the sensitive nerve within. After the placement, the filling will be refined by fine carving and contouring. A composite filling is cured by a special curing light that allows it to set hard. The filling is finished by polishing to a smooth finish.
After a dental filling there is generally no discomfort, expect some sensitivity to hot or cold in the first few days, that subsides on its own. Care instructions after a filling include oral hygiene measures, eating habits and regular dental visits that will keep your restoration healthy.