Having a dental inlay can be a good way to protect your tooth and restore its appearance. You are probably familiar with crowns and fillings as restorative treatments. Inlays might not be as common, but this does not mean you should not consider them. In some ways, it has benefits that other options do not…
When Are Fillings Recommended as a Dental Restoration?
The first procedures that come to mind for most people who hear the term “dental restoration” are implants, bridges, and crowns. Not many people consider a filling as a restorative option. However, fillings, especially composite fillings, are one of the most common and versatile restoration solutions for more issues than just cavities. Fillings come in several different types of materials and can be used for multiple purposes.
When a dentist may suggest a filling
A dental filling, as its name indicates, is a material used to fill in a part of a tooth that was either removed or destroyed. Dentists may offer a patient the choice between several types of filling materials, including porcelain, composite, silver amalgam, and glass ionomer. Each comes with its own unique benefits, ranging between cost, aesthetics, and durability. For instance, the most affordable filling material, amalgam, may not be easy on the eyes, but it is durable, lasting for 10 years or more. On the other hand, composite provides a more aesthetically pleasing result but at a higher cost. It also lasts for only five or so years.
Regardless of cost, durability, or looks, each filling material can be used for a variety of restoration procedures. A dentist may recommend a filling for restoration purposes for teeth that present the following problems:
Fillings can drastically improve the shape and function of a person’s smile. Restored teeth also last longer than those allowed to deteriorate, and they are more functional than teeth in disrepair.
What the dental filling process involves
The process of filling is one of the simplest and quickest ways to restore a tooth. In fact, most dentists can complete the entire procedure in as little as 30 minutes.
The dental filling process typically takes three basic steps, or four in the case of severe decay. The first step involves removing any decayed, dead, or damaged matter from the tooth structure to make room for the filling material. The dentist uses a drill, laser, or other tool to clear this area out.
Once the tooth is free of matter that cannot be saved, the dentist then thoroughly cleans the tooth. To avoid infection later, it is imperative that the tooth is free of any debris or bacteria before placing the filling material.
If the tooth was severely decayed, the dentist may have to place a dental liner along the gum’s surface. The purpose of the liner is to protect the root from exposure. If this step is not necessary, the dentist can skip to the last step.
The third (or fourth) and final step involves placing the filling. Once the filling is in place, the dentist will harden the material, if necessary, and polish the entire tooth.
Dental fillings are an easy-to-complete dental restoration option. Though simple, there is a reason this procedure has been the recommended solution for many dental issues for decades or more.
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