What is dental restoration?
A dental restoration also known as dental filling is done to restore the morphology and function of the missing tooth structure, restoring it back to its normal shape, size and structure.
Why decayed teeth do needs to be restored?
A tooth is restored to protect the part of remaining tooth surface that has been exposed by the decay or injured. It also prevents the loss of the tooth, as the decay might spread and grossly destroy the tooth. In the front tooth if it is decayed or damaged, the filling will improve the appearance of teeth and face and will improve the force applied on food items for cutting etc. restored teeth also helps in normal eating and better chewing.
What are the types of materials used for restoration?
Now a days there are various types of restorative materials but few basic types used for restoration are- silver fillings, bio-compatible cements, and the most common materials used are plastic composite that are tooth colored. These teeth colored filling materials are soft at first but they harden to the tooth after being treated by UV light.
What should I expect after my restoration is done?
Usually you should avoid any hard food item from chewing and biting too hard as your mouth might feel numb. And if u had got a silver filling you should avoid hard, sticky, or chewy food substance for at least 3-4 days. But mostly you can eat and drink normal soft food and beverages after 20-30 minutes of restoration. You will your tooth as good as new. If u got a tooth colored filling then you might even not be able to see where filling has been done. And also you might feel a mild sensitivity or mild discomfort after restoration but not to worry it will subside within a matter of few hours.
How long the filling is supposed to last and how can I know to get it replaced?
In the posterior tooth if u ever had a filling and it fell out….Then you know they don’t last forever. It usually last depending on the material used for filling. If u have gone for gold filling, it will last for more than 15 yrs. If u have gone for silver amalgam, they usually last for 10-12 yrs, and the most commonly used tooth colored filling material, they don’t last as long as other, you might need to get it replaced after 5-7 yrs.
In any restoration if u saw any discoloration, chipping or darkening below the filling u need to get the fillings replaced as these are the first sign of extensive tooth decay.
How can I know my tooth is decayed?
As the tooth starts to decay you might feel few physical symptoms like- food getting stuck in the holes in teeth, you might feel some chipped off areas with your tongue, and there might be some dark spots on the teeth.
When tooth decay starts you will feel mild sensitivity while eating certain food like sweet, sour or cold and if its left untreated it might prolong to pain on chewing and over time it may lead to pain that might last for several hours.
I have got a tooth colored filling few months back, and now the tooth has started to pain again, what should I do?
Usually this shouldn’t happen until there has been a sign of extensive decay, there might be some decayed portion left while the restoration was done. You must visit your dentist immediately and get an x-ray done and then your dentist will prescribe you what further treatment you might need.