Dental fillings are an important part of oral care. They are necessary to protect teeth from further damage and to restore teeth that have been damaged. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of dental fillings and why they are used. We will also talk about how they are placed and how long they last. Finally, we will discuss signs that your fillings need to be replaced.
Types of Fillings
There are two types of dental fillings: direct and indirect. Direct fillings, also sometimes called composite fillings, are placed directly into a tooth that has been prepared for the filling. Indirect fillings, such as inlays and onlays, are made outside of the mouth in a dental lab and are then bonded to the tooth. An inlay is used to fill the chewing surface of the tooth, while an onlay is used to fill the chewing surface, as well as one or more of the tooth’s points.
The type of filling used depends on the extent of damage to the tooth and where the filling is needed. In most cases, direct fillings are used to restore small to medium areas of decay, whereas indirect fillings are used to restore teeth where the decay affects a larger area.
Fillings are necessary because they protect teeth from further damage. When a tooth is damaged, the enamel can be broken and the dentin can be exposed. This leaves the tooth vulnerable to cavities and other types of infection. A filling protects the tooth by sealing off the opening in the enamel and preventing bacteria from entering.
How Fillings are Placed
Fillings are placed into the tooth by a dentist. First, the tooth is prepared for the filling. This involves cleaning out the damaged area and shaping it so that the filling can be placed. Next, the filling material is placed into the prepared area and bonded to the tooth. Direct fillings can be completed in one dental appointment and do not require a dental lab. Indirect fillings usually require two dental appointments: one to prepare the tooth and place a temporary filling, and one to remove the temporary filling and place the permanent indirect filling.
How Long Fillings Last
The type of material used for the filling will determine how long it will last. Some filling materials can last for many years, while others may need to be replaced more frequently. For example, composite fillings last about 5-7 years, while inlays and onlays last about 10-15 years.
Fillings usually last for many years before they need to be replaced. However, there are some signs that your fillings may need to be replaced. These include:
- tooth pain or sensitivity
- new decay around the filling
- change in the color of the filling
- looseness or movement of the filling
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your dentist. They will be able to determine whether your fillings need to be replaced and can provide you with more information about dental fillings.
In this blog, we have discussed dental fillings. We talked about the different types of fillings and why they are used. We also discussed how fillings are placed and how long they last. Finally, we discussed signs that your fillings need to be replaced. If you have any questions about dental fillings, please see your dentist. Thanks for reading!
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.