You know there are a number of people in the world who never had cavities and then there are those unfortunate ones who suffer from this vicious demon problem. There are kids, teenagers, adults, and sometimes even the old ones who have cavities. According to a recent survey, approx. 78% of people are hit by cavities by the time they turn 17. Fortunately, there are some time-tested treatments for cavities and the most effective one is dental filling.

A dental filling does exactly what it is supposed to do – seal a small hole inside the tooth. Cavities are caused because of decay. The filling keeps away further decaying of the tooth and if left untreated it can reach out to the sensitive inner pulp tissue that is situated in the root canal. If that happens one would need to go for root canal treatment.

There are several types of materials that are used for filling up teeth, the process, however, is the same in each case. It starts with a clinical examination of a decaying tooth with an x-ray to see what the extent of decay is. The decayed zone of the tooth is removed with some handheld instrument. Usually, they do it with a dental drill. But before that, they do anaesthetize it first so you would not feel any kind of discomfort. If you are nervous about getting numb, you can always take some kind of anti-anxiety medicine. You can also use some nitrous oxide that can help you feel more relaxed. Once the decayed part is removed, rest of tooth structure is “etched” or roughened with a mildly acidic solution and some translucent cement is applied for a binding tooth with filling material.

Types of Fillings

Dental fillings can be divided into two major categories: the metal and the tooth-coloured fillings. Every single one of these has their own set of pros and cons under specific situations.

Metal Fillings

Amalgam — One of the classiest fillings this one has silver in it. It has been in use for more than a century. It is not pure silver but a silver-based amalgam which is made up of copper, tin, silver and mercury alloy. The mercury here fuses with other metals and make the amalgama stable and safe substance. These are inexpensive and strong fillings but also very noticeable. The silver filling also demands more preparation than other types.

Cast Gold — This one counts to be one of the most expensive dental fillings that have cast gold fused with other metals in it. Its higher visibility is both its pro and its con.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite — World most preferred choices this one is picked by those who do not want the dental fillings to show. Composite is a unique mixture of glass and plastic. It fuses well both breast of the tooth and happens to be costlier than all other metal fillings. It needs much less drilling as compared to amalgam.

Porcelain — These are very high-tech dental ceramics penis stronger than others and do not stain like composites. Sometimes, these are more expensive than composites since one needs special computer-generated technology and dental laboratory for this method. However, the cost is worth the results because of the aesthetics it provides to your tooth. The higher glass content makes this dental filling brittle.

Glass Ionomer — This one is made up of glass powders and acrylic, both these materials blend well with rest of the tooth color and also releases a very minute quantity of fluoride that keeps away decaying. But the only drawback is but these don’t last as long as other materials in this category.

What Happens After Dental Filling?

The numbness that you feel because local anesthesia wears off in a few hours. Until then, it would be best that you avoid any kind of cold or hot liquid. You must refrain from eating anything from that side of your mouth. It is quite normal to feel sensitive to hot and cold for a few weeks after dental filling but if the condition persists beyond that period and you feel any kind of acute pain while eating, you need to visit your dentist. They will make the necessary adjustments to the filling post which things will get back on track in a few days. Keep brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and make sure that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleaning and checkup. Last but not the least, it is completely possible to prevent tooth decay all you need to do is maintain good oral hygiene and keep providing your teeth with professional care from time to time.