Fillings, or dental fillings, are a very common treatment. They serve, among other things, to correct one of the most common pathologies: caries. Rare is to find a person who does not have a single filling in his mouth. In our clinic we have been performing these treatments for decades. And not because it is a common pathology should we stop giving it the attention it deserves.
Tooth decay is the second most common disease after the common cold. It affects more than 90% of the world’s population. It is frequent in all ages, in all genders and in all social strata. All you need is a tooth to have cavities.
That is why correct oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are so convenient. Because, it is in dental clinics where they can detect and treat cavities before they increase a lot and have to resort to endodontics. The solution to repair a cavity is a filling. Do we know what a filling is? Do we know what they put us when they make a filling? In this post we try to solve some of these doubts.
What Is A Filling And What Is It For?
The filling, or tooth coloured fillings, is the most used treatment to treat cavities in its initial phase. It consists of removing the affected tissue, leaving a cavity in the tooth that will later be filled with biocompatible material. In this way, the damaged tooth is rehabilitated, restoring its original functionality and appearance.
Cavities are damaged areas in tooth enamel where small cavities form. They are caused by bacterial activity in the mouth. Cariogenic bacteria produce an acid from the remains of starchy or sugary foods that demineralizes tooth enamel.
If tooth decay progresses, it can cause pain, tenderness, visible holes, and spots. With a simple visual examination, a cavity can be detected. And if it can be done before the infection affects the pulp of the tooth, a filling will be enough to correct it.
How Is A Filling Done?
The steps to carry out a correct treatment of caries are the following:
If necessary, it ensures that the patient does not feel pain at all.
Isolation Of The Affected Tooth
By isolating the decayed tooth, we ensure that the dentist can work better and prevent saliva from obstructing the vision of cavities.
Cleaning Decayed Tissue
The dentist removes the affected tissue and once removed, the reconstruction is carried out.
Filling, Sealing Or Sealing
The filling of the cavity that remains in the tooth after cleaning the caries must be done with a biocompatible material. Normally, this material is use for composite fillings, which is shaped to restore the anatomy of the carious tooth. This material cures with light (curing or light curing lamps).
Once the reconstruction of the tooth is finished, it must be polished and adjusted so that it fits perfectly against the piece that has to bite.
What If My Tooth Still Hurts After The Filling?
When cavities penetrate the dentin they can cause discomfort and pain. When doing a filling in these circumstances, the dentist applies a local anesthesia that guarantees that the patient will feel absolutely nothing during the intervention. But occasionally, after treatment, you may notice discomfort when chewing or when the piece comes into contact with cold or heat.
Is There More Sensitivity After A Filling?
Normally there should not be any alteration in sensitivity after a filling has been carried out, but, as we have said in the previous section, in the event of large reconstructions we could have sensitivity to pressure, cold and heat that will tend to disappear.
Can A Filling Come Off?
Yes, fillings can come off or break for a number of reasons. Due to a leak in the tooth itself, because we have forced the tooth to bite very hard food, because we suffer from bruxism, because we have suffered a blow to the mouth, etc.
It is not at all worrisome. You just have to make an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible. To avoid reaching this circumstance, it is important to go to periodic reviews. In this way, the dentist can evaluate the state of our fillings and anticipate any possible problem.
What Material Is A Filling And How Long Does It Last?
There were times when smiles were filled with silver, or even gold settings. Previously, silver amalgam materials were used, which were tremendously durable. But their negative aesthetic effects have led them to be replaced by newer materials.
We refer above all to the composite. A kind of resin the same bone color as the tooth. As we have said above, the composite fills the gap and, being light-curing, hardens with a special light.
On the downside, composite is less durable than metal fillings. But this does not mean that fillings need to be replaced every week. In periodic check-ups, the dentist will indicate to the patient when to replace the old filling. A composite filling can last for many years, depending on the care, bite, and other personal circumstances of the patient.
Can You Bleach A Filled Tooth?
The only drawback is that the color of the filling does not change with bleaching, at the same time as the enamel. As a result, after whitening, the filling may be slightly more visible. But it can always be replaced by one more in line with the current tone of the teeth.
In any case, what should never be done is to whiten the teeth when there are cavities without filling. This could make infections worse.