Dental caries is the biggest problem in every age group. Dental caries is not only due to intake of more sweets, it can be due to several reasons like:
• Improper Brushing
• Irregular teeth
• Irregular gaps in between the teeth
• Bad oral habits
• Improper Oral hygiene
Based upon the area of dental caries cavities are classified by G.V black as follows:
• Class 1 cavity - Caries is present on occlusal portion and buccal or lingual pits.
• Class 2 cavity - Caries present on posterior interproximal area.
• Class 3 cavity - Caries present in anterior interproximal area.
• Class 4 cavity - Caries present in anterior interproximal including the incisor area.
• Class 5 cavity - Caries present on gingival at facial or lingual area.
• Class 6 cavity - Caries present on cusp tip.
Whenever we go to Dentist for dental fillings, we always tell Dentist that filling should not be visible. Eventually, we opt for tooth colored fillings. Types of dental fillings available are:
1. Silver Filling or metal Filling or Amalgam fillings.
2. Tooth colored filling or white filling or Composite resin fillings.
Advantages of Silver Filling:
1. Silver filling is the strongest filling ever known
2. It is less technique specific
3. It has tolerant to moisture present in oral cavity while placing the filling in tooth.
4. It does not get discolored while coming in contact with food ingredients such as Tamarind.
5. It takes time to get hard, for this reason it can be packed easily even in larger cavities.
6. It is inexpensive and versatile Filling.
Disadvantages of Silver Filling:
1. It contains mercury which is still in question that whether the use of silver fillings should continue or not.
2. Amalgam filling cannot be used in Anterior or front teeth due to its color.
3. Amalgam filling requires more space to get filled in tooth. In this case, Dentist sometime has to even cut healthy tooth while preparing the cavity.
Advantages of Tooth colored Fillings:
1. Tooth colored fillings can easily be used in anterior teeth or front teeth because of its color.
2. These fillings contain fluoride which does not allow carious lesion to proceed further and hence prevents further damage.
3. It can be completed in Single visit.
4. It does not cause tooth sensitivity.
Disadvantages of Tooth colored Fillings:
1. These fillings are very technique sensitivity. While doing tooth colored filling, if moisture comes in contact they lose half of its strength.
2. Tooth colored fillings get discolored if comes in frequent contact with food ingredients like tamarind.
3. It is expensive, and not recommended on tooth bearing heavy occlusion forces.
4. These fillings shrink with time which allows the micro leakage of food particles beneath the cavity. This is the main reason of dental caries beneath the cavity.
Post Dental Filling Prevention Measures:
1. Avoid tea, coffee for 1 or 2 days.
2. Avoid intake of food which requires hard chewing like mutton, chicken especially when filling is done in front tooth.
3. Avoid sticky food like chewing gum and sweets for 1 day.
4. Do not prick any instrument in filled tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is silver filling advisable for all teeth?
Silver filling is recommended in posterior (back) teeth. In case of anterior (front) teeth white fillings are recommended.
Is local anesthesia required prior to filling procedure?
Local anesthesia is not required in fillings, but in some cases if the tooth is sensitive and patient is quite apprehensive then anesthesia is must.
Does Tooth colored fillings harm the oral tissues?
No, White fillings don’t harm any of the oral tissues.
Is Mercury present in Silver filling safe?
No, mercury used in silver fillings is still in question. Some dentist do not recommend silver filling in any situation, but some are still using. Mercury if swallowed can cause mercury toxicity.
Why tooth colored fillings take more time?
Tooth colored fillings are more technique specific hence require more time.
After filling if pain starts in tooth then what is the treatment?
Sometimes due to deep carious lesion Dentist has to make deep cavity. In case of deep cavities dentist always gives a lining of medicament (which allows the formation of secondary dentin) beneath the filling and wait for 3 weeks. If patients complain of pain after 3 weeks, then RCT is recommended.