Dental Fillings Overview
Dental Fillings help restore teeth damaged by decay back to their normal function, and can prevent further decay. Your dentist will consider a number of factors when choosing which type of dental filling material is best for you. These factors include the extent of the repair, where in your mouth the dental filling is needed and the cost.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a dental filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a dental filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for dental fillings include porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Which Type of Dental Filling is Best?
No one type of filling is best . What’s right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Considerations for different materials include:
- Amalgam (silver) dental fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large dental fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of dental fillings generally from three to 10 years.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated in two ways: through root canal therapy (in which nerve damaged nerve is removed) or through a procedure called pulp capping (which attempts to keep the nerve alive).
How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Only a dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled. During a checkup, the dentist will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth. Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. We may also X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.
Dental Fillings Steps
- Local anesthesia – May be needed only if filling to be done is deep for painless procedure
- Tooth decay removal – then the dentist will cut through the enamel using a drill to remove any decay. After the dentist removes the decay, the dentist will shape the space to ready it for the dental filling.
- Etching – for a bonded filling the dentist will etch the tooth with an acid gel before placing the dental filling.
- Resin application – for certain types of dental fillings the dentist will layer on the resin and harden it using a bright light. This makes it strong.
- Polishing – after the filling has been placed, your dentist will polish the tooth.
Cost of Dental Fillings In India
Cost of dental fillings depends on : size of filling, type of material used for filling, many time location of filling, if between two teeth, or on eadge of tooth, requires additional procedure like a placing a metal band or teflon band.
Combination of factor determine the cost of dental fillings in India which can range between Rs 1200 – Rs 2500 for GIC fillings to Compsite fillings.