1. What is tooth filling?
Tooth filling is to repair decayed or damaged teeth with dental materials to restore the shape and function of the teeth. The most popular filling material is dental composite, which is applied to the tooth in a soft, malleable state and then hardened with polymerization light.
Dental composite is a durable, versatile material which takes up the natural teeth color, making them the material of choice in modern dental clinics.It also requires less tooth structure removal compared to amalgam fillings, allowing for a more conservative restoration. Composite can provide additional support and reducing the risk of tooth fracture by its bonding force to tooth structure. Additionally, dental composite does not contain mercury in its composition, opposite to amalgam.
Composite fillings can be used to repair small to moderate cavities, chips, cracks, or worn teeth. However, they may not be suitable for large or deep cavities, or for teeth with significant structural damage. In case of large tooth structure missing, indirect methods such as crown, inlay , onlay would be better to restore the teeth.
2. What are the steps of tooth fillings ?
Varied depending on the type of material being used and the extent of the damage to the tooth. However, general steps involved in a typical tooth filling procedure are:
Numbing the tooth : This helps to reduce pain or discomfort during the filling procedure . Removing the decay structure : Dental drills are used to remove the damaged part of the tooth. The cavity will be cleaned, inspected and prepared for the filling material. Filling : If a composite filling is being used, the dentist will apply the filling material in layers, using a blue light to harden each layer as it is applied. Shaping and polishing: Once the filling has hardened, it needs to be shaped and polished to ensure a comfortable bite, natural appearance and smoothness to reduce staining after.
Checking your bite: to ensure that the filling does not interfere while you bite or do other physiological movements ( ex. Moving lower jaw to left, right etc).
Overall, a tooth filling procedure is a simple and straightforward process that can be completed in a single appointment.