If you have a decayed tooth or a cracked tooth, you most likely would need a dental filling by a dentist for dental restoration. Tooth fillings are also used in cases of tooth wear to restore the tooth back to its original form. There are different types of tooth filling available today, and these include; Gold fillings, silver amalgam which consists of silver, zinc, copper, and tin mixed with mercury. We also have porcelain fillings and composite resin fillings which are tooth-colored plastic materials. Then there is glass ionomer which is made from glass materials and acrylic. All the different kinds of dental fillings can be used in tooth restoration and they each have their advantages and disadvantages but, the cosmetic fillings (composite resin) are the most popularly used especially in recent times. Let’s take a look at what a cosmetic filling is and what has made them more popular these days.
What Is A Cosmetic Filling?
A cosmetic filling differs from the normal gold or amalgam filling in that, it has a color and the color is natural looking. This means, when it used for dental filling, it can hardly be noticed. A lot of people shy away from tooth fillings especially the traditional ones because the difference in color might alter their look and ruin their smile. In contrast, cosmetic fillings can even serve as an enhancement making your appearance and smile better than before. The original aim of dental fillings was to maintain the structure of the tooth in case of damage. Cosmetic fillings though, take it a step further by not only maintaining teeth structure but by also enhancing appearance since they are colored as the shade as that of the tooth. Cosmetic fillings which are also referred to as tooth-colored fillings are produced with composite plastic resin materials and are more expensive than the traditional amalgam fillings.
Why You Need A Cosmetic Filling
As was stated earlier, all types of dental fillings have their own advantages, so why should you decide to use a cosmetic filling? Well for one, although amalgam fillings might maintain tooth structure and are relatively cheaper, they are not exactly popular. This is because the color of these traditional fillings are darker in comparison with natural tooth and may give you an awkward appearance. Cosmetic fillings, on the other hand, are in sync with tooth color and appear to be completely natural. Cosmetic fillings would enhance your smile.
How can you tell if you need a cosmetic filling tough? Well, if you have a cracked or damaged tooth due to cavities, gapped teeth, a chipped or broken tooth or even a worn out tooth. Then you should consider getting a cosmetic filling by your dentist to restore your tooth back to normal.
Treatment Procedure Using Cosmetic Fillings
The first step is tooth preparation. In a case of tooth decay, the dentist would have to take it out first. If the decay is so much that it has extended to other parts of the tooth such as the cementum and dentin, then the dentist would have to numb the area for thorough cleaning and decay removal to take place. The drilling done in treatment with cosmetic filling is less. Still, in the process of preparing the tooth, the dentist cleans the tooth. The dentist then applies a primer which serves to open the enamel and the dentin pores. The final part of tooth preparation is the application of a bonding agent to provide support for the cosmetic filling material.
The second step is the placement of the fillings. The dentist would place the filling material where it is needed and then shape it so the tooth can have a natural look. A strong curing light is then used to harden the composite materials. After this, is the checking of your bite by the dentist to ascertain if any adjustment needs to be made. Upon checking, if there is, the adjustment is immediately made.
This leads to the last step of polishing the fixed fillings. The dentist polishes and smoothens the newly fixed cosmetic filling to give the tooth a natural look and feel. So there you go, you get an attractive brand new tooth that would enhance your smile and not make you feel awkward like in the case of using amalgam fillings.
How To Care For Your Cosmetic Fillings
To maintain your cosmetic fillings and keep them in good condition, you should keep a good oral hygiene routine. This includes paying a regular visit to your dentist so your teeth can be cleaned, brushing properly with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and making use of an antibacterial mouthwash at least once in a day. If your dentist has a suspicion that a filling in your tooth might be cracked or that there is a “leak” ( this happens when the sides of the filling do not fit snugly against the tooth. Saliva and debris will begin to seep in between the filling and the tooth, and this can cause decay to occur), then the dentist will conduct X-rays to get a full assessment of the situation. After your treatment, if you notice any of the following; Extreme tooth sensitivity, a crack in the filling or missing fillings part, you should contact your dentist and book an appointment with immediate effect.
Cosmetic fillings are highly recommended due to their aesthetic effects. However, it is not meant for everybody. For example, if you have extensive cavities, it would be appropriate to use a dental crown instead of cosmetic fillings as cosmetic fillings are only great for fixing small cavities.
If you have a problem with your teeth such as a minor tooth decay, a minor tooth fracture, gapped tooth and worn out tooth, and you are still wondering, do not wonder for too long. Just visit your dentist to get treated with cosmetic fillings today and get your smile and comfort back.