Tooth filling is a dental procedure to repair with special material to close the holes in tooth.
This is one of the most common procedure, and plus patients can choose the patching method and the patch material to be used. But before you decided to take it, there are many things you should know about tooth fillings. Let’s look at the explanation here.
Types of tooth fillings
Amalgam is a silver (grey) patch that was used a long time ago. It is made from a mixture of silver, lead, zinc, copper and mercury. Nearly 50% of the material used is mercury, and this patch is usually used to repair the back molars. This type of filling is known to be strong and long-lasting, usually used on the back teeth because the colour is less aesthetic. Although the use of this type of patch can last up to 10 years, the doctors do not recommend patients to use this type of patch. This is because amalgam is a metal that contains mercury which is very dangerous for the body. Mercury substances if ingested can injure your digestive organs. Meanwhile, if inhaled can cause health problems in the lungs. However, in accordance with the regulations of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia starting in 2019, amalgam may not be used anymore because it contains mercury which can harm the body.
- Composite resin
The composite resin material is made from a mixture of plastic particles and fine glass. This type of filling will use bright blue light which works to harden the glass particles on the teeth. This process is relatively time consuming because the doctor will send the tooth skeleton first to the laboratory. But the advantage is on the aesthetic side, the colour of the filling will blend with the colour of the original teeth, and the material is fairly strong. Unfortunately, the price of composite resin filling is slightly more expensive than various materials, but this material can last for approximately 5 years on teeth. This type of filling is often used for front teeth.
- Cast-gold fillings
It is made from gold alloy mixed with metal. This type of tooth filling is the most durable to use, approximately around 15 years of use. Another plus point, with this gold filling you can chew food that has a hard and thick texture. But disadvantage is the price, it is indeed 6 to 7 times more expensive than amalgam and composite resin materials.
- Metal and porcelain
Porcelain and metal are common materials for tooth fillings. Usually both materials can be used to repair all parts of teeth, for veneers, implants, and even braces. However, the price of installing metal patches is much cheaper than porcelain when you want to repair tooth cavity/decay. Both are safe to use in the body, and can last more than 7 years.
So, how’s tooth fillings done? The following step is a common procedure for tooth fillings:
Local Anaesthesia. First, you will be given a local anaesthesia to temporarily kill the nerve area around the teeth.
Tooth drilling/exuviation process. After the anaesthesia is successfully performed, the dentist will cut the tooth enamel using a drill to remove the decay inside. Then the doctor will form a space in the tooth to insert the filling into it.
Etching. This process is used to tighten the tooth with acid gel before filling the cavity with filling.
Resin application process. Your tooth will also be coated with resin through bright light to make it strong and not brittle. Next, the doctor will fill your tooth with types of tooth filling which the doctor has already recommend.
Polishing. After the filling process is finished, the doctor will clean the tooth with polishing. One of the benefits of polishing is that it can fade stains on the tooth.
There are some restrictions that must be avoided after you do tooth fillings.
Avoid biting Hard-texture food
The first thing you should not do is avoid hard-texture foods. If you do, there will be a damaged in the filling area and then the hole comes again. Not only that, but sticky food is also not recommended to be consumed after tooth fillings because the sticky material on the food will be attached to the filling material so it will be difficult to remove. Even so, it does not mean you can’t eat both of these foods. You can take it at least 2 days after the tooth fillings is done so that the patch is attached and closes the cavity perfectly.
Don’t playing around with your tooth fillings area
You shouldn’t be playing the filling using your tongue. Many people tend to do it because they feel uncomfortable, especially for those who make their first tooth fillings. They often touch the filling using the tongue. Then there are also those who “poke” the filling using a toothpick which make a risk of causing the filling broken.
Treatment after tooth filling
After the tooth filling procedure is completed, the dentist will give you some treatment advice to prevent the cavity which might occur in filling area or other nearby tooth. These are the several steps:
- Maintain a healthy diet by consuming balanced nutrition.
- Brush your teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride, twice a day.
- Clean the teeth gap regularly with dental floss.
- Routine dental care at the dentist.
If the dentist find that the filling is ‘leaked’, the doctor may perform an examination using X-rays to see the condition of the patient’s teeth in more detail. The leakage is a condition where the material of filling and the teeth are not perfectly glued so that it allows food and saliva to be to seep into the crack between the filling area and the tooth. You could contact your dentist immediately, if the tooth feels very sensitive, or if there are sharp parts in the patch, and if you feel there is a gap in the filling.
There are several problems that may occur after tooth filling procedure, like feeling pain to bite the food, or it become a bit sensitive. The tooth may be sensitive to some kind of pressure, water, sweet foods, or temperature. This condition will usually disappear within a few weeks. If the sensitivity does not decrease within 2-4 weeks or if the teeth feel very sensitive, call your dentist immediately. Inflammation could also happen. Contact your dentist immediately if the inflammation does not get any better, due to the high risk of infection or abscess in the pulp or the surrounding gum.
So, for you guys as a traveller, being far away from home makes a dental treatment become your priority when traveling or on business trips. Dental care should not be ignored, even though you’re on vacation. A study shows that poor dental health could lead to various complications of dangerous diseases. it is important to make sure your dental health is optimal, then the chances of bacteria that could enter the bloodstream is minimal. But if your dental health is not in a good condition, then the chances will increase by two to ten times. Don’t ever think about buying a time if you’re feeling not well about your teeth. We suggest you to go to the dentist immediately before it is too late or getting worse.
However, good dental health is a combination of proper daily care starting from brushing your teeth and regular dental checks to the dentist. So, if you want to have optimal body health, don’t forget to maintain healthy teeth and mouth. Maintaining your dental health is an investment in your overall health. Remember, health is not only about recovering from illness, but also about finding ways to prevent it. Stay healthy and stay humble