If you observe a black spot on one of your teeth while brushing, or if one appears chipped, it may be because of underlying tooth decay. Tooth decay is a condition in which the outer protective enamel layer of the tooth is destroyed because of the toxins released by the harmful bacteria that reside in plaque and tartar deposits. But how are damaged or decayed teeth restored? You may ask! Unlike other body organs and tissues, our teeth cannot regrow and have a limited repair potential. Hence, tooth cavities are treated by restoring the damaged tooth structure with a suitable filling material.
If the next question that comes to your mind is “what are dental fillings”? This article is for you. So, read on to learn more about dental fillings and how they are placed on damaged teeth.
A dental filling is a material placed over a damaged tooth to restore its shape, strength, and aesthetics. The type of restorative material used for filling damaged teeth depends on various factors, such as the location of the tooth, the extent of tooth decay, and the patient’s budget.
Based on how they are placed, dental filings are of two main types: direct and indirect fillings or restorations.
These fillings are placed on the damaged teeth directly on the dental chairside. There are three main types of direct fillings: composite resins, silver amalgam, and glass ionomer cements.
The procedure of placing direct fillings involved removing the decayed tooth structure first. For composite and glass ionomer fillings, there is no need to shape the tooth cavity. However, the placement of amalgam fillings requires shaping the tooth cavity such that the filling does not come off. This is because amalgam fillings do not bond to the tooth structure and depend on the shape of the tooth cavity to remain in place. In the case of composite restorations, your dentist will place the fillings is small increments, shape them accordingly, and then harden the filling by using a special light. So, the method of placement of each type of dental filling is slightly different.
Unlike direct fillings, these restorations are fabricated in the dental laboratory. Some common examples of indirect fillings include inlays and onlays, which are made of dental porcelain or gold alloys. First, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth structure and then make impressions on your teeth. This process is known as tooth preparation. These impressions will then be sent to the dental laboratory for fabricating inlays or onlays in Houston, depending on the extent of tooth damage. Once the prepared restorations are received back, your dentist will bond them to the prepared teeth using adhesive.
Generally, tooth-colored composite fillings in Houston are suitable for restoring mild to moderately damaged teeth as they have excellent esthetics and are reasonably long-lasting. On the other hand, ceramic inlays or onlays may be more suitable for badly damaged teeth that need structural reinforcement and esthetic improvement. Your dentist can help you choose the right type of filling for restoring your teeth.
If you are looking for a renowned dentist in Houston, look no more! Royal Dental offers all dental services under one roof and at affordable rates. So, book an appointment with us today and let us take care of your oral health and smile.