FILLINGS – DENTAL THERAPY
Loss of dental structure can be caused by cavities, various bad habits, some genetic anomalies and congenital defects. Dental fillings can also treat stains, grained lesions, cracks in ditches and fissures. After the cavity (damaged tissue) is removed, it leaves a gap inside the tooth which must be filled. We can do this in the practice, through fillings or indirectly, in the laboratory, through inlays.
For fillings, we use several types of materials, with different characteristics, which we choose according to the state of the tooth. For larger and deeper holes, we can use up to three materials (sandwich filling). Tooth friendly materials go at the base, followed by harder and more aesthetical materials. This choice of materials and the need for several layers is reflected in varying prices.
RESTORATIVE MATERIALS FOR DENTAL FILLINGS
Some of the materials used in dentistry for direct restoration (fillings) are: dental amalgam, glass-ionomers, dental composite and compomers.
- DENTAL AMALGAM
They are pretty much a thing of the past, due to their wanting appearance. They are obtained by mixing silver powder with mercury. The argument against using them is that they can be toxic, even in low quantities. For you safety, we recommend you to replace amalgam fillings!
They release fluoride which strengthens the tooth structure. It requires minimally invasive spaces. They look much better than amalgam, and they are the closest to the natural color of the teeth. The look is satisfactory, yet not perfect. On the positive side, they seal the tooth even in a damp environment. They are recommended for children, for fillings on milk teeth, but also for adults to restore back teeth. Their life span is anywhere between 2 and 5 years.
- DENTAL COMPOSITE
They are the most widely used for fillings. They are successfully used for both frontal teeth (perfect aesthetics) as well as back teeth, where we need to consider strength as well. With a choice of 30 shades and 4 levels of translucency, invisible fillings are a dream come true. They have outstanding optical characteristics, such as opalescence and fluorescence similar to natural teeth and also photomimetism (they borrow the colour of dental tissue they come in contact with).
They are hybrid materials, which mix the characteristics of dental composite and from those of glass ionomers. They are ionically active, releasing a lower quantity of fluoride, and have a positive effect on dental structures. Compared to glass ionomers, they have superior resistance to wearing.
There are cases where the base of the cavity to be filled is in the close proximity to the dental pulp (nerve). These base fillings act as an additional protection measure. Calcium hydroxide is used as a medical treatment and stimulates the recovery process. This base fillings are an additional cost.
FILLINGS AND LIFE SPAN
There are some factors which might influence the strength and color of fillings: bad habits, traumas, excessive coffee, smoking, bad hygiene, but also the patient’s unwillingness to undertake periodic professional checks and hygienization treatments.