Dental filling, otherwise known as dental or tooth restoration, is the method by which dentists restore missing parts of the tooth structure or even a missing tooth. Dentist do it in such a way that the integrity, function, and morphology of the tooth structure remain intact. This process uses different types of dental restorative materials. A missing tooth structure supported by dental implants can also be restored through this procedure.
The Need for Tooth Restoration
Caries or dental cavities due to decay are one of the main reasons for the structural loss of a tooth. A part of or a whole tooth could be missing due to an external trauma such as an accident or fracture of the tooth. A previously placed restoration would have deteriorated creating the need for re-restoring it. Intentional loss of structure of the tooth may occur when dentists prepare the tooth for aesthetic improvements.
Restoring a Tooth Directly or Indirectly
The technique of direct restoration involves keeping a prepared soft filling into the tooth. The filling sets and becomes hard while in contact with the tooth. This procedure does not damage the tooth because it passes very limited energy on to the tooth during the setting process. Experts advise this method for restoration in areas that are unlikely to undergo heavy pressure during chewing. A single visit to the dentist would suffice for this procedure. On the contrary, indirect dental restorations involve the technique of using dental impressions of the prepared tooth to fabricate tooth restoration externally. Crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays are the common indirect restorations. This is then fixed permanently with dental cement. This process requires a minimum of two visits to the dentist.
Different Tooth Restoration Types
There are many ways for teeth restoration and the most common type is the filling restoration, done with materials such as tooth-colored plastic, silver amalgam, gold, or glass materials. Crowns gets capped to a tooth so that its shape, size, appearance, and strength remain intact. Crowns cover a dental implant or hold a dental bridge in place. When one or more missing teeth creates a gap, false teeth known as bridges helps in filling up the space. When the tooth roots needs replacement, dentists go for implants treatment. This is a small metallic post placed into the bone socket of the missing teeth and then crowned. Dentures, made of acrylic resin, replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. These are removable and have metal attachments. While complete dentures treatment is advised when all the teeth are missing, partial dentures are done when there are some natural teeth remaining. Metal clasps fix these to the natural teeth.