Fillings have been used for many centuries to restore damaged teeth. Some Egyptian mummies discovered from 4500 years ago have fillings made of resin and malachite.
Modern fillings are used to replace damaged parts of the teeth caused by decay or trauma. Amalgam (which is an alloy mainly made of silver and mercury) was the most widely used filling material in the last century. However, due to the side effects associated with mercury and risk of mercury poisoning, it has been superseded with resin restorative materials.
Resin fillings have the advantage of superior aesthetic results; they are also more tooth friendly as they require less aggressive cavity preparation due to chemical bond formation between the filling material and the tooth structure.
Fillings reduce the tooth sensitivity or pain by covering the vital dental tissue. Due to the technique sensitive nature of resin fillings, they require longer appointments and greater operator skills hence are more costly than their predecessors. They can be utilised to replace the missing parts of the teeth after trauma.
Advances in technology means that missing dentin and enamel can be replaced with like for like resin to recreate the natural beauty of the tooth accurately.
When it comes to tooth decay, prevention is the best approach. This is why your dentist puts great emphasis on the role of good oral hygiene. However, if decay is detected and dealt with early, it reduces the cost and discomfort of the treatment greatly and obviates the need for more complex and expensive interventions.
Regular check-ups are the tool to monitor your oral hygiene and development of decay or any defects in the dental structures or existing restorations.
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