Restorative filling procedures go beyond the usual filling of a small cavity. With a restorative filling, your dentist will use a porcelain or composite material to rebuild the natural shape of the tooth. These fillings aren't just for cavities, there are a few situations where they can resolve tooth issues.
1. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, particularly advanced decay that has resulted in a cavity, is likely the primary cause of most restorative fillings. For large cavities or those on the outer surface instead of the biting surface, the act of drilling out the cavity can compromise the shape and form of the tooth. A restorative filling doesn't just fill in the hole left behind by drilling, it also helps re-shape the tooth so that it still retains its original natural form.
2. Enamel Erosion
Issues can happen without decay and cavities. Over time, the enamel on the teeth can erode. Some people are genetically prone to softer enamel, which can make the issue worse. Worn-down tooth surfaces can lead them to be temperature sensitive, as well as uneven teeth that affect the look of your smile. Restorative fillings can be adhered to the worn enamel surface and shaped to bring the tooth back to its former profile. This reduces sensitivity, improves function, and rejuvenates your smile.
3. Surface Fractures
Fractures in a tooth are often the result of biting into something too hard, such as a popcorn kernel. They can also occur if you use your teeth as tools on non-food items, or if you are struck in the face during an accident. Cracked teeth can sometimes be saved if they are quickly bonded back together with the help of a restorative filling. The filling also smooths out any rough edges that are caused by the fracture, while also preventing the tooth from breaking apart completely.
4. Accidental Chips
Chips are similar to fractures, but instead of a crack, an entire piece of the tooth is knocked off. Your dentist may be able to cement the chip back onto the tooth if you are able to save it, although they may also need to use restorative filling techniques to ensure the junction between teeth is smooth and natural looking. Otherwise, they will use a restorative filling to rebuild the chipped portion. Depending on the severity of the chip, a cap may be used in conjunction with the filling to help create a sturdy new tooth on the base of the damaged one.
Contact a dentist to learn more about the restorative filling process.Share
20 June 2023
As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.