Restorations / Fillings

What are Tooth restoration or fillings?

Tooth restoration or fillings are dental procedure that involves repairing a damaged or decayed tooth by filling the affected area with a dental material.During the procedure, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and clean the area before filling it with the chosen material.Fillings can also be used to repair broken or cracked teeth or to improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth. In some cases, larger restorations such as inlays, onlays, or crowns may be necessary to repair extensive damage or decay.

When do we need dental restoration or fillings?

Tooth restoration is typically needed when a tooth is damaged, decayed, or otherwise compromised. Some of the most common reasons why a person may need a tooth restoration include:

Tooth decay: When bacteria in the mouth produce acids that attack the tooth enamel,
cavities can form. Tooth decay can cause sensitivity, pain, and even infection if left untreated. Fillings are often used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay.

Cracks or fractures: Teeth can become cracked or fractured due to trauma, grinding, or biting on hard objects. Depending on the severity of the damage, a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown may be needed to restore the tooth’s function and prevent further damage.

Wear and tear: Over time, teeth can become worn down due to factors such as age, diet, and oral hygiene habits. Restorations may be needed to replace missing or damaged tooth structure and restore the tooth’s function.

Cosmetic concerns: Restorations can also be used to improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or otherwise aesthetically unappealing.
Overall, the need for tooth restoration will depend on the individual’s specific dental health needs, as assessed by a dental professional during a routine checkup or specific treatment consultation.

Types of Dental restoration / filling:-
Composite Filling –

Composite fillings are a type of dental filling used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury. They are also commonly referred to as tooth-colored or white fillings, as they can be made to match the natural color of your teeth, unlike traditional silver amalgam fillings.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass materials, which is applied to the
damaged tooth and then hardened with a special light. This type of filling is known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear, and can last for many years with proper care. One of the advantages of composite fillings is that they can be used on both front and back teeth, unlike some other types of fillings. They also require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to amalgam fillings, which can help preserve the strength and integrity of your teeth.

Glass ionomer Cement –
Glass ionomer Cement(GIC) is also a white colored filling material. It is made up of silicate glass powder and can chemically bond to the tooth structure. GIC is considered as a “Smart material” as it can slowly release fluoride and can help in prevention of further progression of dental decay. The Glass ionomer can be incorporated with resin (RMGIC) for enhanced strength and esthetics. GIC s have good nerve healing properties and are an excellent option for fillings in baby teeth. Porcelain or ceramic fillings- also known as inlays or onlays, are an alternative to composite or amalgam fillings. They are made of a ceramic material that is custom-made to match the color and shape of your tooth, providing a natural-looking and long-lasting restoration.Porcelain or ceramic fillings are highly durable and can last for many years with proper care. They are also resistant to staining and wear and tear, making them a good choice for restoring teeth that are highly visible or subject to
a lot of biting pressure.

Procedure of Dental restoration/ filling:-
The procedure for dental restoration or filling may vary depending on the type of filling and the extent of the damage to the tooth. Here are the general steps involved in the process:

Evaluation: Your dentist will first evaluate the tooth to determine the extent of the damage and decide on the best type of filling for your specific situation. Preparation: Your dentist will remove any decay or damaged portions of the tooth using a drill or laser. The area will then be cleaned to remove bacteria and debris.

Filling placement: The filling material will be placed in the prepared cavity and shaped to fit the contours of the tooth. Composite fillings are applied in layers, with each layer being hardened with a special light before the next layer is applied. Porcelain or ceramic fillings require two visits, with the first visit involving the preparation of the tooth and the taking of impressions, and the second visit involving the placement of the filling.

Polishing: Once the filling is in place, your dentist will polish it to make sure it blends in with the surrounding teeth and to smooth out any rough edges.

Aftercare: You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, but this should subside within a few days. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for your new filling, which may include avoiding certain foods and beverages for a period of time.

Overall, the dental restoration or filling procedure is a routine and straightforward process that can help restore the function and appearance of a damaged tooth.

Post Restoration Care :-

After undergoing dental restoration or filling, it is important to take care of your teeth to ensure the success of the treatment and maintain good oral health. Here are some tips for post-treatment care:

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything for the first half an hour after the procedure. This will allow the filling to set properly.
  • Be careful when chewing or biting with the treated tooth, especially for the first few days. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods that could damage or dislodge the filling.
  • Brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, be gentle when brushing around the filling to avoid damaging it.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste or rinse to help strengthen the tooth and prevent future decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can monitor the condition of the filling and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.

If you experience any pain, sensitivity, or discomfort after the procedure, contact your dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate an issue with the filling or an underlying dental problem that needs to be addressed.

By following these post-treatment care tips, you can help ensure the success of your dental restoration and maintain good oral health for years to come.