- May 16, 2013
Filling Therapy – Restorative Dental Therapy
Filling therapy is the removal of tooth decay and filling the resultant cavity with a dental filling material.
Currently, dental caries (tooth decay) is described as a disease of tooth structures caused by various factors.
Causes of caries
- Bacterial plaque
- Carbon hydrates (Sugar, flour, etc.)
- Individual factors (Tooth structures, ingredients of saliva etc.)
- Time (for how long nutrients remain in the mouth)
Bacterial plaque which consists of bacteria in mouth can produce acids from the remnants of sugared or floured nutrients present in the mouth. These acids dissolve mineralized tooth structure and damage enamel tissue thus hollow areas described as “cavities” are formed on tooth.
Caries can develop on chewing surfaces, proximal surfaces of adjacent teeth or cervical surfaces. Brown spots or cavities can be detected easily on the surfaces visible to eye. But caries without these symptoms needs to be identified by radiography.
Untreated caries on enamel tissue progresses to dentinal tissue. Dentin is a structure that can dissolve more rapidly compared to enamel thus caries of dentin is progressive. Sensitivity to cold, hot, sour or sweet can be present in caries progressed to dentin tissue. Pain ceases when the causing effect disappears.
If the pain is constant, tooth decay is progressed to pulp tissue where the vessels and nerves of tooth are present, and the root canal therapy is necessary in such cases.
A composite filling is a plastic composition consisting of silicon dioxide particles. With various color options, they are unnoticeable on tooth and they can be named as esthetic-white fillings. This material which was formerly used in only anterior teeth is now strengthened and its use is appropriate in restoring posterior teeth. A special bonding agent is used along with a light to cure the filling material; the filling process is completed with polishing at the same session.
An impression is taken from the prepared cavity and sent to laboratory. A glazed porcelain filling is placed and cemented into the prepared cavity in the next session.
Dental amalgams are composed of silver, copper, tin and 45 to 50% mercury. After the removal of caries and preparation of the cavity, amalgam filling material is used to fill the cavity. For 2 hours, any function on the restored tooth is avoided and no rigid food is chewed for 24 hours. The hardened filling is polished after 24 hours.