This dental procedure reduces tooth sensitivity, which stems from the loss of enamel. Enamel loss leads to tooth decay and sensitivity. People who have this condition find it difficult to take in cold or hot substances. Additionally, dentists can implement this treatment in repairing tooth decay and fractures, using dental filling materials that may comprise porcelain, gold inlays, glass ionomer, composite, or even silver amalgam. Depending on the severity of tooth decay, a dental filling may be enough to restore the tooth to its original form and activity; or else, other procedures may come into play, including dental implants and bridges, dental crowns, and root canals.
It is worth mentioning that a dental filling has three aspects. They include the crown, abutment, and screw. The first component is a tooth-like ceramic material that is used to replace a decayed tooth. When attaching the crown to the screw, the abutment comes into play. Finally, the screw deeply sits inside the root and attaches firmly to the jaw bone. Specialists who perform these implants are known as oral surgeons or periodontists. However, those who perform root canal procedures are called endodontists.
Before undergoing dental filling, the periodontist will inspect the teeth to map out the best treatment approach for the patient. This dental procedure is ideal for minor tooth decays or fractures. If the dental issue is severe, then there would be a need for restorative dental treatment, which may include an implant or a dental crown placement—using a dental probe, the dental specialist with conduct an oral examination to detect areas that require treatment. For exact precision and severity of the dental problem, an X-ray examination may also be conducted. By undergoing this dental procedure, there is less further tooth damage that may result in more decay.
Selecting the filling material for the procedure depends on factors, like the patient’s medical history, biting force, financial capacity, durability, number of appointments, aesthetic requirements, and other personal preferences. The dentist will also provide the individual with various filling and sealing options for the cavity area and then complete the procedure instantly. While preparing for the treatment, the dental specialist numbs the affected tooth using a local anaesthetic. Additionally, there may be a need to administer a sedative to make sure that the patient is comfortable throughout the dental procedure.
The periodontist prepares the affected tooth and its surrounding area to commence restoration of the damaged parts. Using a laser or dental hand-piece, the specialist removes the damaged or decayed tooth and cleans the dental area, keeping it free from debris and bacteria, before moving to the next phase. The tooth is then isolated in preparation for the composite filling procedure; this is essential for tooth restoration as it prevents the tooth from coming in contact with moisture, which can affect the bonding process. The specialist applies special, strong adhesives to the affected tooth, before placing in the composite material. Once done, the individual uses a special bonding light to harden the area, providing a natural and functional part.
Post-dental care is as critical as the dental filling procedure. Periodontists discuss recovery and aftercare with their patients; this includes ways they can take care of their filling and maintain overall oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay. One way to sustain ideal oral health is to keep the teeth clean at all times, which includes brushing the teeth twice daily and using dental floss or cleaner once a day. They may also suggest the use of sealants to prevent plaque build-up or worse, new tooth decay. It is also advised to use fluoride mouth rinses. As part of the post-dental care, patients are to keep regular appointments with their dentists to check their level of dental progress and ensure that the dental fillings are functioning as expected. Hence, patients are not to undermine scheduled follow ups.
One aspect that people cannot ignore, especially when it comes to oral care is a proper dietary plan. Food and drinks play an essential role in oral hygiene. Hence, individuals should maintain a balanced diet and avoid meals that contain high sugar contents. It is essential to take care of the dental implants like natural teeth. Dentists recommend that smokers quit smoking before the dental filling and afterwards, to prevent bonding problems between the screw and jawbone. Furthermore, this habit slows down one’s recovery process. It is possible for implant failure to occur when one relies heavily on immunosuppressants.
An individual may have to choose between undergoing the traditional amalgam filling or dental composite filling. The former works fine for patients, but it does not provide the same aesthetics as with the latter. Composite fillings cost more to perform as they comprise a more advanced process and require high-end materials and more dental machines. However, they are more appealing than their counterpart. Hence, it is no surprise that people who have undergone amalgam fillings end up opting for dental composite fillings as well.
Several factors may influence the cost of a dental filling; these include the dental area that needs filling, the dentist performing the procedure, the type of dental insurance available (some insurance policies do not cover additional charges that come with composite fillings), and the number of affected tooth that needs dental filling. Some individuals may have one affected tooth that requires dental treatment, while others may have all the tooth section damaged.
Traditional amalgam fillings tend to last for about 12 years on average, while their counterparts (dental composite fillings) may last between five to seven years. However, this factor depends on the patient’s specifications and post-dental care – how well the individual maintains healthy oral hygiene. The cost of each amalgam filling sits anywhere between $110 and $200. On the other hand, resin-based composite fillings costs between $135 and $250 per filling.