Fillings or restorations are necessary in cases of tooth decay.
How teeth decay?
The initial attack of bacterial acid is on enamel and the dissolution starts. During this time, it may appear as brownish or black discoloration of tooth. On progression, this converts into a cavity or a hole in the tooth. At this time the usual complaint is that the food gets impacted between the teeth. Further progression of this lesion leads to involvement of dentin. During this time, the patients complain of sensitivity to hot and cold or sweet and sour things.
At this stage when tooth decay in the enamel or dentin the tooth can be restored to its original form and function by the dentist.
The dentist removes all the decayed part of the tooth. Next he fills the tooth.
Filling materials are of four types.
» Silver Amalgam
» Glass Ionomer
» Light Cure Glass Ionomer
» Light Cure Composite Resin
Light Cure Composite Resin
Silver Amalgam :
Silver dental fillings have been described as a toxic time bomb.
The World Health Organisation states that the largest estimated daily intake and retention of mercury and mercury compounds in the general public is from dental amalgam fillings. WHO has stated that there is no safe dose of mercury. Mercury is a poison at any level, whether or not the level of toxicity is sufficient to produce recognisable symptoms.
Did you know that the use of mercury fillings has been abolished in Sweden and that the UK government has banned its use during pregnancy? Despite mounting evidence against the use of mercury many dentists are still using mercury fillings, blissfully ignoring the growing volume of scientific evidence which points to many chronic and debilitating conditions which occur through such use.
Careful precautions have to be taken when removing old amalgam fillings.
Proper isolation of the tooth from the rest of the body is must which should act as an effective barrier against swallowing or inhalation of mercury fumes. We also recommend taking dietary supplements, such as Vitamins C and E and Selenium to negate traces of toxicity even after the amalgam has been removed and to guard against any traces of mercury in the system.
Glass Ionomer :
Normally used as a filling for deciduous (milk) teeth in child patients.
Light Cured Glass Ionomer :
Generally used to restore the cervical abrasions sensitive to cold.
Light Cure Composite Resin :
Magical change in appearance by replacing silver amalgam with light cure filling
Light cure composite resins have certain advantages over silver fillings. These are
» It is tooth coloured
» It bonds to the tooth surface
» Its strength is much more than silver amalgam
» Life of a resin filling is much more than silver amalgum.
Filling of teeth requires one sitting. It is a painless procedure. If tooth decay is not treated and allowed to spread the pulp of the tooth is destroyed which then needs root canal treatment that is longer and more expensive than a filling.