No Referral is Needed. Call Today (718) 642-8600

Dental fillings

As dental practice shows, over time, tooth enamel is erased. This process is usually greatly accelerated if you smoke, eat too solid food, and do not follow oral hygiene. This is typical for most people in the world. Therefore, the most popular service today is dental filling.

Against such a wide demand, technologies of the fillings began to develop quite rapidly. In modern dentistry, there are already more than a dozen ways to treat caries and catalogs for more than fifty types of fillings.

If you notice damage to your tooth, and even more so if your tooth starts to hurt, the sooner you see a doctor, the better, and here’s why. With deep caries, installing a filling will help you eliminate pain, and eating food will become more pleasant.

If the diseased tooth is not treated promptly, such negligence can lead to unpleasant consequences and complications.

Types of fillings→

There are two types of fillings in dental practice, depending on the service life – permanent and temporary.

A temporary filling is a medical and diagnostic composition installed in the tooth cavity for a limited period. The temporary filling is then replaced with a permanent one.

Often, various medicinal additives are introduced into the fillings. If the filling is placed for diagnosis, then after a week, the doctor already removes it to engage in subsequent treatment. Depending on the situation, tasks, and diagnosis, the doctor can put a medical seal on you even for a month.

If you have had a temporary filling, you can eat no earlier than 2 hours later. If the doctor recommends that you additionally comply with specific requirements, you must comply with them.

So, for example, the doctor asks you to refrain from colored, coloring food. If the doctor puts you in a temporary filling and warns that the tooth may hurt – in this case, you need to go to the appointment again. This diagnostic filling allows you to identify the degree of carious damage to the tooth.

Permanent fillings have a service life of more than one year. They restore the tooth’s anatomy and appearance, which was damaged by deep caries, pulpitis, and other diseases.

Permanent dental fillings are made from various materials that vary in cost.

In the manufacture of seals, various alloys of mercury with metal are used, otherwise – amalgam. Since mercury has a highly negative effect on our bodies, this is a significant disadvantage for such fillings. In addition, after the filling is placed, the amalgam expands, and, as a result, the wall of the tooth closest to the filling can break off.

To date, spalling of the tooth wall has been reduced to a minimum. But the strength of the material must be recognized – the service life is about 15 years. Yes, amalgam fillings are affordable.

Metal fillings are often placed on chewing teeth or in difficult situations. Or they are installed under the crowns since, in this case, it does not matter how the filling will look.

Fillings using gold alloys are becoming less popular as modern technologies use materials that resemble natural teeth. In addition, the simultaneous use of amalgam and gold alloys is not allowed due to the formation of an electrolytic pair, which destroys them.

Non-metallic fillings →

They are made from polymeric or mineral materials – hard plastics, ceramics, fine cement, etc.

Cement fillings.

Glass ionomer and phosphate cement are used for filling teeth. They are inexpensive but have a weak fit to the walls of the teeth.

Zinc phosphate cement. It is used as an insulating and fixing layer when installing crowns.

Silicate cement. Given its insufficient strength and solubility with saliva, it only manufactures temporary fillings.

Silicate-phosphate cement. It is characterized by high strength, transparency, and low thermal conductivity, which affects the patient’s comfort and the service life of the finished seal. They are popular in clinics due to their low cost.

Glass ionomer cement. This is a modern composition characterized by high adhesion and strength. The seal will last a long time – it does not dissolve in the alkaline environment of saliva.

The favorable properties of glass ionomer cement include non-toxicity, low cost, and good marginal fit. The composition of such a filling contains special additives that nourish the dental tissues with fluoride ions. Also, the re-development of caries is not allowed. Since the glass ionomer material is similar to the natural tissues of the tooth, it is also treated with milk bite. Among the shortcomings of this material – fragility and rapid abrasion.

Fillings from chemically cured composites.

These fillings have replaced the classic cement fillings. Their main difference lies in the filler – in most cases, it is porcelain, due to which the durability and hardness of the filling are achieved. Such a composition will last more than ten years. Composites of this type are divided into three subgroups – acrylic-containing, based on epoxy resins, and light-cured or photopolymer.

Composites containing acrylic are highly durable and resistant to abrasion but have substantial toxicity. After installing such a filling on a healthy tooth, pulpitis can develop – nerve inflammation and the likelihood of developing secondary caries is very high, even on neighboring teeth.

Composites containing epoxy resins are more wear-resistant; they wear out more slowly but are more brittle. Although epoxy fillings are less toxic than acrylic fillings, they darken after several years.

These composite fillings have a significant drawback – this is polymerization shrinkage. It is eliminated with extra adhesives that prevent secondary caries.

Fillings made of light-polymer composite or photopolymer, in terms of their aesthetic characteristics and the ratio of cost and quality, this filling are ideal. While the light filling cures under the action of a special ultraviolet lamp, the dentist can create an almost perfect surface and shape for the tooth. The service life of a photopolymer filling is more than five years; it is resistant to an acid-base environment. These fillings are widely used to restore front teeth.

Photopolymer fillings are not used for extensive defects in dentition; they do not replace prosthetics since their main problem is poor marginal fit and shrinkage.

Ceramic fillings.

Ceramics in dentistry is a relatively expensive material, but its cost is justified due to the unique properties of this material. Ceramic fillings can stand on the teeth for more than 20 years because they have high strength and look very natural due to the peculiarities of their structure. Such seals are not subject to staining or shrinkage – they retain their original size and are not afraid of temperature changes.

It should be noted that in modern dentistry, fillings using ready-made tabs are increasingly being used. They can be gold – they have high strength but are noticeable on the teeth, ceramic – very reliable, match the color of the teeth or composite.

The process of installing a seal→

Local anesthesia is often used in dental treatment. But the doctor won’t give you an anesthetic injection if you don’t want to.

The dentist will first conduct a diagnosis to assess the condition of your teeth, and only then, if the need arises for anesthesia, will tell you how painful the filling procedure can be. In any case, you will decide whether to give you an injection, or you can be a little patient.

 The filling process with anesthesia consists of a series of sequential procedures.

For local anesthesia, the composition in each case is individual

With the help of dental instruments, mechanical treatment of the diseased tooth is carried out. If the pulp is intact, the doctor disinfects the cleaned cavity with an antiseptic; if the neurovascular bundle is inflamed, the doctor removes it.

The cavity is dried, and a special antimicrobial medicinal pad is installed if necessary. The surgical field is isolated from the ingress of saliva into the tooth.

If necessary, a matrix is installed, which performs the function of the missing dental wall. After the filling has hardened, the matrix can be easily removed. It allows you to restore the anatomical shape of the tooth.

Next, the cavity is sealed. The filling mass is applied to the tooth in several layers. When using a light-curing material, each layer is illuminated with a lamp.

Grinding and polishing are carried out to smooth the filling, which is adjusted according to the bite. In the end, the filling is covered with a protective varnish.