What Is a Tooth Filling?

What Is a Tooth Filling?

A tooth filling is a procedure used to fill gaps in teeth that are decayed, broken, worn or damaged. A tooth filling returns the tooth to its normal function and shape.

The most common reason for the need for a tooth filling is tooth decay. Sugar and starch from food or drinks form acid when they come into contact with bacteria in plaque. The acid attacks the tooth enamel, leading to mineral loss. After a while, the enamel weakens and breaks down to form a cavity. This cavity is called tooth decay.

There are various materials to fill the cavities on the tooth. The filling material is chosen according to the location of the cavity, the size of the repair and the cost expectation. Composite resins compatible with tooth color, porcelain fillings called inlays and onlays, silver-colored amalgam fillings and gold fillings are different filling materials.

The first stage of the dental filling procedure is examination and x-ray. The area around the tooth is numbed using a local anesthetic injection. Tooth decay and other affected areas of the tooth are removed and the tooth is cleaned. Then filling material is placed to fill the cavity. Finally, the material is shaped to restore the original appearance of the tooth.

If the filling is not done in time, the tooth decay grows and exposes the hard part of the tooth underneath (dentin).When bacteria come into contact with the dentin, it causes infection. Over time, the infection reaches the root of the tooth and damages the nerve. In this case, root canal treatment may be necessary. On the other hand, there is also a risk of spreading the infection to neighboring teeth.

A tooth filling usually heals quickly without any complications. No food should be eaten for at least 2 hours after a tooth filling. Hard foods should be avoided during the healing period.

There may be sensitivity to heat, cold, pressure and air for a few days after the tooth filling. This effect can sometimes last up to 1 or 2 weeks. During this time, things that cause sensitivity should be avoided.

Brushing your teeth twice a day and avoiding sugary foods can help prevent tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups make it possible to diagnose and treat any dental problems early.

A tooth filling can last between 5 and 30 years, depending on the material used and how well it is applied.

Tooth fillings are only suitable for small cavities and fractures. In more advanced cases, more extensive treatments such as dental crowns, root canal treatment and tooth extraction may be required.