What is a dental filling and how is it done?

The dental filling is, with total security, one of the most performed treatments in any dental clinic. This is because it is necessary to use it to treat the most common oral disease: cavities.

In fact, most likely, throughout your life, you have had to fill a tooth or tooth.

Since this treatment is essential for the vast majority of people, today we are going to address the main issues of interest about dental fillings.

What is a tooth paste and what is it for?

The filling -also known as a dental filling- is the procedure that is performed to fill a cavity in its initial phase. It also consists of removing the caries from the affected dental piece, cleaning the cavity where it was and filling it with composite.

The main objective of the dental filling is to eliminate cavities and thus prevent it from spreading.

In this way, the dentist will return the tooth to its original functionality and prevent decay from advancing and destroying a larger surface area of ​​the dental piece.

Therefore, the dental filling serves to keep the tooth in the mouth for much longer and prevents the tooth from ending up being lost if the decay progresses.

How is a filling made?

How could it be otherwise, before performing a dental filling it is essential to detect the presence of a cavity.

To do this, the dentist will check the patient's mouth using a mirror and an exploration probe. In addition, it will be supported by complementary tests, such as panoramic or periapical radiographs.

Once the dentist has diagnosed the caries, he made the dental filling.

The steps to follow are those:

Local anesthesia

In order to prevent the patient from feeling any kind of pain during the process, local anesthesia is applied. With this, the area of ​​the tooth or tooth where the decay is found will be asleep and numb, fully prepared to begin the process.

Isolation of the tooth or molar

Before starting to remove the caries, the dentist will isolate the tooth. This will prevent saliva from reaching the area. This, in addition to hindering your work, would harm the final result, since the area must remain dry at all times.

caries cleaning

Using instruments called dental burs, the dentist removes all the tissue from the tooth affected by decay. Having removed the damaged part of the tooth, it will be necessary to rebuild the area later.

Filling material placement

Since the cleaning of the caries has produced a "hole" in the tooth, the dentist must reconstruct the area of ​​the affected tooth using composite.

In order for the composite to dry and harden properly, which makes the final result lasting, the dentist places a light lamp on the tooth.

All this process will make the dental piece recover its functionality and its original aesthetics. In addition, it will be essential that the dentist use the appropriate shade of composite for the color of the tooth and that it respects, in turn, its natural shape.

Polishing of dental filling

Once the composite has hardened, the dentist will need to shape the filling using different polishing burs.

In addition, they will perform a trial bite on the patient to ensure that the reconstruction is comfortable for them, and that they bite normally.

How long does it take to make a filling?

Dental filling is a relatively simple treatment, as well as being very common in daily clinical practice.

This makes duration times short. In fact, the time it usually takes to make a filling is 50-60 minutes.

Of course, it must be taken into account that this duration is approximate, since it depends, fundamentally, on the size of the cavity to be removed.

Does a dental filling hurt?

Due to the simplicity of the treatment, a dental filling does not usually hurt.

First of all, because before starting the procedure, the dentist applies anesthesia to the area. Therefore, it is desensitized.

Once the dentist finishes the treatment, the effect of the anesthesia will subside. However, the fact that the filling is a minimally invasive procedure means that the patient does not experience pain.

Post-obturation recommendations

As we have already explained, the filling is a very simple treatment. Therefore, it does not cause great discomfort or require following important recommendations.

However, we can give you some advice so that you take them into account once you have received the treatment:

      Avoid biting your tongue or lip, since for about 2-3 hours you will have the area numb due to the local anesthesia.

      Do not eat or drink right after the filling is done. It is advisable to wait a couple of hours to get the filling to seal properly and thus avoid future complications.

      Do not smoke.

      It is likely that you will feel, in the area of ​​the filling, sensitivity to cold for a period of time, which can be as long as a month. In the event that you experience major discomfort, make an appointment with your dentist to explain what is happening to you.

What types of fillings are there?

Depending on the amount of tooth that must be reconstructed, dental fillings can be classified into two types.

1- Simple fillings

Simple fillings are those that are performed when the caries is very small and the reconstruction to be done is minimal.

An example of this type of fillings are those that are made in the central grooves of a tooth.

2- Composite fillings

Composite fillings are those in which the destruction of the tooth is greater. And, therefore, the dentist has to remove a larger surface of the tooth. This means that the reconstruction work must be greater.

These types of fillings are made, for example, when caries affect the walls of the tooth.

What materials are used in dental fillings?

Today, the most widely used material to make fillings is resin or composite. However, a few years ago it was much more frequent to resort to silver amalgams.

The composite filling is much more aesthetic.

1- Resin or composite

The fact that resin or composite is the most used material today is due to the fact that it imitates the color of the tooth very well.

Therefore, its main advantage is that it is very aesthetic. However, its main drawback is the duration. Composite fillings last less time than amalgam fillings.

2- Metallic or amalgam

Metallic fillings or silver amalgams are practically not used today. However, they were widely used a few years ago.

The main advantage of amalgam fillings is their duration, since they can last up to 30 years in the patient's mouth,

However, their main drawback is that they are very unsightly: they are gray in color, like metal. Therefore, they can be appreciated when the person who has them opens their mouths.


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