Dental Filling Treatment

Dental Filling Treatment

What Is a Dental Filling?

    Filling is an operation to fill unhygienic and bad looking gap caused by harmful bacteria’s acid attacks which are destroying the healthy tooth tissue.


What Things Cause Cavities?

  • The things we eat:What we consume daily tend to stick on our teeth and they are acidic, and they have high sugar content, they are the factors that increase decay formation risk to be metabolized (For example: caramel, chocolate, cola, pretzel, fruit juices, etc.)
  • Insufficient brushing: It causes decays as the plaques accumulated in the daytime on teeth is not removed by brushing, it causes bacterial activity to last on teeth tissue.
  • Genetic predisposition:Caries may happen due to familial predisposition as well as environmental factors. 
  • Insufficient saliva flow:Our saliva is one of our most effective weapons against the formation of caries, with its mineral content that washes the tooth surface, helps neutralize the acidic environment, and can restore the minerals lost by our teeth to our teeth. The saliva content and flow rate, which varies from person to person, also affects the caries susceptibility of that individual.


How is a Rotten Tooth Detected?

    To make a filling, first the decayed tooth must be detected naturally. Sometimes it is visible in the mouth clearly but sometimes it may be not visible places. Dentists use variable methods to diagnose these problems. These methods are:

 Intraoral examination: Dentist examines mouth with classical examination instruments. Between these tools, the "mirror" makes visible the parts that can’t be seen, the sharp-edged tool we call "sond" is used to detect soft, perishable tissue formed resulting from a decay. 

Coloring agents: These are coloring materials for tissues that have decays or the tissues start to decay. These colorings don’t color the healthy tooth tissue and for that reason, the decays may be found easily. (Note: These agents don’t contain any chemicals that will not give any harm to health.)

Transillumination: It is a diagnostic method based on light fractures of healthy and decayed teeth tissue. Lights stronger than visible lights are applied to dental tissue and then observation is made. It is a painless method. 

 X-ray: It is a diagnostic method that is used for detecting normal examination and decays that cannot be detected. For example, it is difficult to see a filling that is done in past with an intraoral examination, so the diagnostic of this is made with an x-ray and the cleaning has so much importance on saving the tooth. After detecting the decay, the filling treatment starts.


What Happens If a Decayed Tooth Is Not Treated?

    If the decayed tissue is not cleaned, the bacteria in the decay reach the pulp tissue and cause infection. As a result of the infection, a very strong pain occurs, and our tooth loses its vitality. Depending on the severity and course of the infection, root canal treatment which is the best option is performed or the tooth is extracted. 

How Is a Dental Filling Applied?

    The first step of the filling is cleaning the rotten part and giving the form that will stabilize the material to be replaced there. The dentist removes the decay with various instruments and fills the gap with appropriate materials after providing the appropriate form. Then, after providing the normal tooth form, it is checked whether the filling is high. Later, the filling surface is smoothed, and the filling is finished. 

Will I Experience Pain While Having a Tooth Filling?

    Thanks to the anesthesia that the physician will apply before starting the filling process, no pain is felt during the procedure. Since anesthesia will numb the tooth and all tissues adjacent to the tooth, you will be prevented from feeling pain. 

Does It Hurt a Lot During Anesthesia (Injection)?

    Anesthesia can be defined as making the whole or a part of the body insensitive to pain. The physician decides on the appropriate dose and the anesthesia method according to the procedure to be performed. To prevent the pain that will occur while applying anesthesia with the needle, the comfort of the patient is brought to the highest level with the spray-shaped anesthetic solution to be applied to the area where the needle will be applied, and the stress and fear that the patient may experience can be prevented. 

Which Teeth Are Needed to Be Filled?

  • Decayed teeth
  • Cracked or broken teeth because of trauma
  • Worn teeth because of clenching

What Are the Types of Fillings? White (Composite) - Black (Amalgam) Fill?

    Filling materials used in dentistry have developed over the years depending on technological developments. The content of filling materials has witnessed various changes until today. Amalgam fillings that appear black due to the metal content, which have been in use since the early 1880s, have now been replaced by white composite fillings that respond to aesthetic concerns. 

Is Black Filling (Amalgam) Harmful? What Are the Advantages of Black Filling?

    Amalgam fillings, which we call black filling, have been preferred for many years because of their antimicrobial content, they do not contain bacteria around them, and they remain in the mouth for many years. However, it is prohibited in many countries because of the removal of extra solid dental tissue for the stabilization of the filling and the metals such as mercury, silver, and tin are found to be harmful to health. On the other hand, although it is rare in our country; it is a preferred filling material especially in patients with inadequate oral hygiene.

Can Black Filling Be Replaced with White Filling or Should It Be Changed?

    Despite their disadvantages, amalgam (black) fillings are solid fillings that can stay in the mouth for many years. For this reason, if the compatibility of the filling is good and no decay development is detected, the filling is left in the mouth. However, if the patient wants to change it due to aesthetic concerns, the filling is removed with appropriate equipment and white fillings, which we call composite that looks more aesthetic, can be made instead. 

How a Dentist Choose the Filling Material?

    Although white filling is preferred more by patients today, the choice of the material to be used should be made by the dentist since each patient has different situation and needs. The dentist considers many factors when deciding on the filling material. These can be listed as:

  • The size of the cavity formed after cleaning the decay: The larger the gap formed, the greater the chance of the filling falling off. For this reason, more durable materials with better physical properties are preferred.
  • Where the rotten tooth is located: If tooth is in the anterior region, black filling is not preferred due to aesthetic concerns.
  • Patient's oral hygiene: If the patient does not pay attention to oral hygiene, materials with high antimicrobial content are preferred. Otherwise, the prognosis of the filling to be made in an unhygienic mouth cannot be considered very good.
  • According to the proximity of decay to pulp: As the decay gets closer to the pulp of the tooth, the sensitivity that will occur after the filling to be made increases. Thus, the material to be used should be the materials that do not harm the pulp of the tooth and have minimum cold and hot conductivity.

When Can Patient Eat Something After Filling Operation?

    After the filling, patient should not eat anything, especially after the effect of anesthesia has passed. Because, especially in pediatric patients, there may be traumatic consequences such as cheek chewing and lip biting due to anesthesia. While the white fillings harden immediately, the black amalgam fillings continue to harden even after the filling is done, and it usually takes 24 hours to completely harden. Therefore, nothing should be consumed for 2 hours in amalgam (black) filling and the patient should not eat hard foods for 24 hours. In addition, consumption of very hot or very cold beverages will cause the filling to shrink and expand during the hardening phase and will disrupt the compatibility of the filling. 

Things To Pay Attention After Filling Is Applied

    The patient should pay attention to oral hygiene. Although the method applied by the dentist is stopping and protective, if the patient does not take care of oral hygiene after the treatment, the treatment is interrupted. After the treatment, depending on the proximity of the filling to the pulp of the tooth, the patient may experience hot/cold sensitivity. This situation is gradually decreasing and disappearing. If it does not decrease but gets worse, the patient should consult his doctor. After the treatment, painkillers recommended by the dentist can be used for tooth or gingival pain. However, if the pain continues, patient should be contact with the dentist.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Feeling of Sensitivity After Filling?

  • Taking the pain reliever prescribed by the dentist.
  • Chewing with the other side, not the side on which the filling is applied.
  • Avoiding consuming excessively hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • Avoiding the consumption of acidic foods and beverages.

What Is the Reason For Coloration Of Filling?

    Especially in anterior region aesthetic fillings, the image formed filling coloration can disturb patients. The reason for the coloration is the interaction of the filling material with the liquids in the mouth due to its nature. Therefore, beverages such as tea and coffee or even cigarettes cause color changes in the filling. The patient should reduce such habits after filling and pay attention to oral hygiene. 

Why Does a Filling Fall? 

    As a result of the decrease in the adaptation of the filling, the filling may fall due to many reasons. These are;

  • Trying to break excessively hard objects with the tooth where the filling is applied.
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Non-adaptation due to decay formation around the filling
  • Bad habits because of the profession of patient (Ex: Tailor: biting needles)
  • Impact of the filled tooth trauma (For example: falling from a bicycle)
  • Reactions that cause loosening of the bond between tooth and filling over time