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What are fillings?

What are fillings?

To understand what a cavity or decay of tooth is, it is important to know the parts of the tooth. The teeth are made of three parts, we have the outer layer called Enamel, then we have a softer layer called Dentin and finally, the center of the tooth contains the pulp. The pulp contains the blood supply and the nerves of the tooth.

The teeth tend to have grooves on them. The food we eat settles down in the grooves, also living in the corners and depth of the tiny grooves are a million bacteria. These bacteria tend to feast on this collected food and secrete out acids. The acids start eroding the tooth structure and make the groove deeper. This is how a cavity is formed and starts to get deeper and deeper. As the cavity gets deeper more food collects and more bacteria grow and the acid production keeps increasing. Thus this cycle continues until an intervention is made or the pulp of the tooth gets invaded by the bacteria.

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Fillings or restorations are done to clean out the bacteria and remove the eroding tooth structure. The tooth structure lost is thus replaced by a filling material.

Are fillings harmful?

Fillings or restorations are essential to restore the lost tooth structure and to prevent the further spread of the decay. Traditionally an amalgam filling was used, These fillings are not used anymore. The common fillings used these days are GIC ( Glass Ionomer ) and Composites. They are very biocompatible and tooth friendly.

How long can we wait before getting the cavities filled?

The cavities should be filled as soon as possible. This is because as we wait for the cavities get deeper and deeper. These could reach the center of the tooth which houses the pump and results in the loss of the tooth completely.  Sealants are applied to the teeth as soon as they erupt at 6 years onwards

Does the filling look bad?

A lot of advancement has happened in dentistry. The filling or restoration are teeth colored. The fillings are white in color and cannot be differentiated from the surrounding tooth structure.

Will it pain?

The fillings are done by removing the rotting teeth   It is a pain-free procedure. Keeping your mouth open could be tiring. So if you have a lot of cavities you could do it in breaks The fillings are done in areas with no nerve endings so no pain is felt.

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What precautions should I take after the filling?

Usually based on the type of filling the doctors will advise you on not to bite on the filling if it’s still setting, otherwise a composite filling does not need any wait time.

The doctor would have checked if the filling is obstructing in any of the forward and lateral motions. This is important as the filling should be harmonious with all the different motions without any interferences

Improperly done fillings in long term leads to Tempro- mandibular Joint pains.

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