Cavities can be bothersome; they start in the form of tooth decay – a bacterial infection affecting the tooth enamel. This decay gradually spreads deeper until reaching the tooth pulp and infecting live nerves and vessels. From there, this infection travels deeper down to the tooth root area and causes an abscess if left untreated. This results in excruciating pain that can be relieved with a root canal or, in severe cases, tooth extraction.
Fortunately, timely intervention can prevent the spread of tooth decay and eliminate the need for ‘last resort’ treatments. This intervention, in most cases, is a dental filling.
A dental filling procedure typically involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and then filling the resultant hollow area with a specialized filling material. These fillings also help repair broken or chipped teeth. Some dentists use dental fillings to treat teeth gaps.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Types of Tooth Filling?
- 2 Who Needs Dental Fillings?
- 3 Dental Filling Procedure
- 4 Dental Filling Before and After
- 5 Dental Filling Benefits
- 6 Dental Filling FAQs
- 7 Request an Appointment
What are the Types of Tooth Filling?
Dental fillings come in different types, mainly depending on the material used in their composition. The three most common types of tooth fillings are:
- Composite filling
- Silver amalgam filling
- Gold filling
Let’s discuss these types one by one.
Composite fillings are a tooth-colored dental filling solution that provides good durability and resistance to fracture. These fillings are made from glass powder quartz, ceramic particles, or silica added to the resin. After preparing the tooth, the dentist applies this filling solution to the treatment area and shines a curing light to harden the filling material. This filling supports moderate pressure from chewing.
Silver Amalgam Filling
Silver amalgam filling – also referred to as silver filling – is a silver-colored material used to fill the teeth as a part of cavity treatment. This filling mainly consists of liquid mercury and a powder containing copper, silver, zinc, and other metals. The silver amalgam filling is one of the most commonly used solutions for dental restoration, primarily due to its lower cost and higher durability.
Gold fillings, also known as onlays or inlays, consist of gold, copper, and other metal alloys. This dental filling is the most durable tooth restoration, as it may last more than 20 years. However, it is also the most expensive of all dental fillings.
Who Needs Dental Fillings?
People with tooth decay are good candidates for dental fillings. But the problem with tooth decay or cavity is that its symptoms remain unnoticeable during the early stages. However, you can pay attention to specific signs to determine if your teeth need this restorative treatment. Here is a list of tooth decay signs and other factors that may necessitate dental filling treatment.
- Tooth sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is one of the clear signs of tooth decay.
- Flossing thread tearing: Does your flossing thread tear when you floss around a particular tooth. This may be due to a sharp edge around an eaten-up part of the tooth.
- Damage to the previous filling: Damaged dental filling is generally prone to loosening and falling out. Hence, replacing this old filling with a new one is imperative.
- Chipped or fractured tooth: A chipped tooth is a weaker structure that is generally prone to further breakage. The same is the case with a fractured tooth. Sometimes, a fracture allows oral bacteria to seep into the crack and reach the inner layers, raising the risk of infections. Dental fillings help secure your chipped or fractured teeth against the ensuing problems.
- Dark spots: A dark spot or a hole in the tooth is a visible symptom of a cavity. Consult your dentist immediately for a quick dental filling appointment when you notice this issue.
- Sharp pain: Sharp or throbbing pain in the tooth is an indication that the cavity has reached the inner chamber and bacteria have started infecting your tooth pulp. Such a scenario demands immediate medical intervention during which the dentist etches out the decayed portion of the tooth and, possibly, removes the tooth pulp. The tooth is then secured with the dental filling.
Dental Filling Procedure
Getting a tooth filling is an in-office treatment that usually requires local anesthesia. However, children and adults with dental anxiety may need sedation. Here are the steps involved in a dental filling procedure.
- The dentist administers local anesthesia or applies a numbing solution to the gum. It may take a few minutes to come into effect.
- Once the tissues around the treatment area are desensitized, the surgeon uses a specialized tool or drill to remove the decayed tooth area.
- After that, they fill the tooth with the filling material.
- In the final step, the dentist sands away the excess filling material and polishes the surface. They keep performing adjustments until the normal bite is achieved.
In the case of composite filling, the dentist will use a curing light to harden the filling material.
Dental Filling Before and After
Dental Filling Benefits
The primary benefit of dental filling is that it halts tooth decay progression in the affected as well as adjacent teeth. Here is a list of other benefits that you may get with a tooth filling.
- The dental filling will fortify the damaged area of your tooth against harmful bacteria. Hence, there won’t be further tooth decay.
- A dental filling does well to strengthen a tooth.
- Composite fillings match the color of your teeth. So, getting this filling can be an excellent way to get rid of that dark spot caused by a cavity. After the procedure, you will walk out of the clinic with a healthy smile.
- Dental fillings prevent the treated tooth from becoming a hub of harmful bacteria. This helps prevent several oral infections or diseases.
Dental Filling FAQs
How much does a dental filling cost?
The cost of a dental filling mainly depends on the type of material used to fill your tooth. Moreover, the cost of the treatment depends on the number of teeth being treated. You can get an accurate price estimate depending on your treatment plan during the initial consultation at EuroMed Clinic Dubai.
How long do fillings last?
The average lifespan of a dental filling is 10 years. It also depends on the filling’s type. For example, a silver amalgam can last 15 years; a composite filling lasts seven years; a gold filling lasts 20 years. The longevity of a dental filling also depends on your oral hygiene habits, eating habits, decay around the filling, and whether or not you grind your teeth.
Is tooth filling painful?
Getting a dental filling is essentially a painless procedure because it involves treating the area with no nerves. However, you may end up with an aching sensation after the treatment due to the local anesthetic injection used to desensitize the nerves in and around the tooth. This sensation doesn’t last more than 24 hours.
Can I brush my teeth after tooth filling?
Yes, you can brush your teeth after getting a dental filling. In fact, proper brushing and flossing are a part of the recommended dental care regimen to ensure the longevity of your dental fillings. This will help prevent the natural tooth enamel around the filling from decaying.
How long after a filling can I eat?
It is imperative that your dental filling reaches its maximum strength before you eat something after the dental filling procedure. Generally, metal fillings take 24 hours to become fit to endure chewing pressure. On the other hand, a composite filling takes two hours to harden.
Request an Appointment
Do you want to get a dental filling to secure your tooth? EuroMed Clinic Dubai is where you can get this treatment from the hands of highly experienced dentists. To book a consultation, you can fill out the form below or call us on the phone.
Check Out Our Specialists Profile
- General Dentist and Implantologist Europe
Dr. Sofia Aravopoulou is a DHA-licensed general dentist and implantologist with 18+ years of experience. She is an expert in Digital Smile Design (DSD) and currently serves as the Head of the Dental Department at the Euromed Clinic Center.Read more
- Dentist General Dentist General Dentistry
Dr. Carla Cyrino is a professional general and cosmetic dentist having 25 years of experience, licensed by the Dubai Health Authority. She specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Digital Smile Design, gummy smile correction, etc.Read more