Dental fillings helps patients retain their natural teeth. In the event of a cavity, where the tooth is being affected by bacteria, decay can be removed and replaced with a filling. The filling eliminates any sensitivity and helps protect the delicate internal dentine and pulp of the tooth, which if affected can lead to serious pain.
Fillings are often carried out quickly and effectively. The dentist uses a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and any decay is removed using a series of drills. Once all the affected area of the tooth is removed, the filling is put in place. Fillings are strong and durable, enabling the patient to get on with their life without unwelcome pain.
Dr Tariq Drabu advised that the type of fillings available depend on whether you are visiting the dentist privately or on the NHS (National Health Service). On the NHS only amalgam fillings are available. These are the silver fillings that everyone knows. The benefit to these fillings is that they are self-sealing, they are long lasting and they are ideal for patients who have a high decay rate.
On private, patients can also choose white or bonded fillings. These are beneficial because they are white in color, which makes them hidden from sight, even in back teeth. Further these are ideal for anyone who suffers from metal allergies.
In most instances white fillings will be used on the back teeth. The filling size is taken into consideration to identify if this can be used. Remember that your teeth are put through tremendous force on a daily basis with eating. Anyone who also suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding) may not be a candidate for white fillings, as they are not as strong and durable as the amalgam fillings, which contain mercury.
The process is the same for whichever filling you have. Dr Tariq Drabu will discuss the procedure with you, examine your mouth and advise you of the options available. You can choose whether to go ahead with the amalgam filling, if you are using the NHS system, or you can opt for the white filling, if you want to pay in a little extra and go on private.
The benefits to the white or bonded fillings is that they can be used immediately, they are white in color and are often used on smaller holes. They are barely noticeable once in place, which is what makes them such a popular choice.
Dr Tariq Drabu also mentioned that he has found his patients that choose white fillings have an improved oral appearance, which can boost confidence levels. Patients with silver fillings are often aware that they are there, especially when they open their mouth or smile.
The process for a filling involves removing any decay from the tooth using drills and then filling the area with a hard and strong filling mixture. The mixture is made in the surgery, while you are in the dental chair, usually by the dental nurse. This is put in place and it dries within minutes. Usually you cannot eat or drink anything for an hour, giving the filling time to cure.
There are instances, according to Dr Tariq Drabu, where you will have a temporary filling and go back to the dentist in a few weeks to have the permanent filling placed. This is often used when there may be an underlying problem, such as an infection which has to clear up first.