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.
A tooth is restored to protect the part of remaining tooth surface that has been exposed by the decay or injury. 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. It will also improve will improve the force applied on food items for cutting etc. Hence restored teeth also help in normal eating and better chewing.
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 composite resin. These teeth colored filling materials are soft at first but they harden to the tooth after being treated by light.
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. Your tooth will feel 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. You might feel a mild sensitivity or discomfort immediately after the restoration, but nothing to worry about, it subsides on its own within a few hours.
A filling lasts 2-10 years, depending upon your oral hygiene, biting forces, saliva consistency, operator’s skills, type of material used, etc.
In any restoration if you see 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.
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.
It is important to note that not every tooth that is decayed will be symptomatic, and hence it is important to visit your dentist for a regular check-up before the decay becomes even bigger. Then filling might not be possible, and you may need to get a root canal treatment or extraction done.
Usually, this doesn’t happen. If the tooth was too decayed, to begin with, then it might be possible that the tooth didn’t heal with a filling and might need a root canal treatment now.