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- Fillings are used to restore minimally-damaged teeth.
- Materials used for fillings include composite resin, and porcelain (ceramic).
- Composite resin and porcelain can be adjusted to match the natural colour of the teeth.
What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings use a restorative material to bring back the proper function to a tooth (or teeth) that has minimal damage. In the case of white fillings, the appearance of the affected tooth is improved as well since the material can be adjusted to match the natural shade of the rest of the teeth.
There are different materials used for dental fillings, and nowadays the most common being used are composite resin, and porcelain. Porcelain (or ceramic) and composite resin fillings can be adjusted to match the natural tooth shade, although porcelain fillings are much more resistant to staining and lasts for a longer period of time.
What to Expect from a Dental Filling Procedure
A local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area of the affected tooth.
The decayed parts of the tooth will be removed by the NKRD dentist using a dental drill, laser, or air abrasion.
Once the decayed portions have all been removed, the cavity will be cleaned further so that bacteria and debris are completely eliminated. If the decayed portion is close to the tooth root, the dentist may first cover the nerve with another material for protection. If the decay has affected the tooth root, a root canal procedure may first be needed before the cavity is filled.
For tooth-coloured material (white fillings) such as composite resin, the material is applied in layers, with each layer being hardened by a special light before the next layer can be applied. After completing the layers, excess filling material is trimmed and shaped accordingly, and then polished.
Comparison of Composite Resin, and Porcelain (Ceramic) Fillings
Confused about the type of filling you should have? Here is a comparison of the materials used for dental fillings:
- Composite resin fillings are known for their aesthetic value, since they can be matched to the exact shade of the rest of the natural teeth.
- The affected tooth can invisibly be restored with this filling material.
- Additional support is given to the tooth because the composite resin material chemically bonds to the tooth, and less tooth structure needs to be removed as part of the cavity preparation.
- Ceramic or porcelain fillings are known for their durability, and can last for 15 years or more depending on usage and oral hygiene habits.
- These filling materials are also highly-resistant to staining, and can be adjusted to match the exact shade of the rest of the natural teeth.