What are dental fillings:
Dental fillings are dental restorations used in order to maintain or save the integrity of your teeth. Dentists use dental fillings to treat a cavity or in case of a crooked or worn tooth.
This is commonly a dental procedure during a root canal, when a dental filling replaces the removal dental pulp.
Types of dental filling types and preparations:
The type and category of dental fillings are divided into 6 classes from class I to class VI and these classes designate the area of the tooth, the direction of the filling, the type of tooth and the type of filling.
- Intracoronal filling: it is used to retain the filling inside of the crown of the tooth and it is commonly used in cavity restoration.
- Extracoronal filling: it is used as a foundation on which a filling will be deposited in order to renew the structural integrity of a tooth and is commonly used in dental crowns and dental veneers.
Because dental fillings don’t last a lifetime, dental fillings need to be replaced. The main factors that influence the durability of fillings are; the type of filling material used, the size, location and personal oral hygiene.
Dental fillings can be composed of amalgam or composite resin. Normally , the amalgam fillings last 10 – 12 years and the dentist will recommend the fillings to be replaced when there is an evidence of filling material breaking down , or if secondary decay becomes apparent or if the tooth is symptomatic , or if the tooth is weakened.
Composite resin fillings are chemically bonded into place and the preparation technique is sensitive to contamination factors such as saliva and blood. This material is not as durable as amalgam, it can wear down quicker, it has a lifespan of 5 – 7 years but is a more aesthetic filling material than amalgam.
Personal oral habits such as oral hygiene, nail biting, the types of food you constantly eat, the clenching and grinding of your teeth will influence the duration of your dental fillings.
The best way to determine when dental fillings need to be replaced is to have regular cleaning and dental exams. Seeing your dentist at least one a year can help you to maintain a beautiful and healthy smile.
This blog post is an educational resource only and does not replace a medical consultation with a doctor .
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