A dental filling is a procedure in which a dentist removes the decayed or damaged part of a tooth and fills it with a restorative material to restore its function and appearance. Fillings can also be used to repair teeth that have been chipped or cracked, or to replace old or worn fillings.
The most common types of dental fillings include:
1. Amalgam fillings: These are made of a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. Amalgam fillings are strong and durable and are often used for back teeth.
2. Composite fillings: These are made of a tooth-colored resin material that can be matched to the color of the natural teeth. Composite fillings are a popular choice for front teeth or other visible areas of the mouth.
3. Ceramic fillings: These are made of porcelain or other ceramics and are also tooth-colored. Ceramic fillings are strong and durable and can be a good choice for larger cavities.
The dental filling procedure typically involves the following steps:
1. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the affected tooth.
2. Removal of decay: The dentist will remove the decayed or damaged part of the tooth using specialized instruments.
3. Cleaning and preparation: The dentist will clean and prepare the cavity for filling.
4. Filling placement: The filling material is placed into the prepared cavity and shaped to match the natural contours of the tooth.
5. Polishing: The filling is polished to smooth out any rough edges and restore the natural appearance of the tooth.
Dental fillings can help to prevent further decay and damage to the affected tooth and restore its function and appearance. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices and visit the dentist regularly to ensure the longevity of the filling and prevent further decay.