Tooth fillings are a way to restore tooth damage. Tooth fillings are usually indicated to repair worn-out, cracked, broken or damaged teeth, and to treat tooth decay. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth is removed and filled with filling material.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Your dentist can discuss the best options for your particular case. Commonly used filling materials include silver amalgam, composite resin, plastic, porcelain, gold and ceramic.
Tooth fillings are performed at the dentist’s office under local anesthesia. Your dentist will remove the decayed area with the help of a drill or laser. The space is then thoroughly cleaned of bacteria and debris, and carefully prepared for the new filling. If the tooth is drilled very close to the root, a special medication is applied for protection. The filling is then precisely placed, fitted and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function. In case of colored fillings, the filling material is layered with the intermittent application of a special light to cure and harden each layer. Your dentist then trims off any additional material, and polishes and shapes the filling to the desired shape.
As with any procedure, tooth fillings may also involve certain risks and complications, which include sensitivity to hot and cold, tooth pain, and rarely, an allergic reaction to the material used.