Dental fillings are a dental restorative material that is used to reinstate the function and integrity of missing tooth structure. Without dental filling the bacteria can travel to the interior structure of the tooth, causing further damage, resulting in a root canal treatment or even dental extractions.
There are several types of material that is used for dental fillings, but the most commonly used materials are mercury or silver and white or resin also know as tooth-colored fillings. Mercury or silver fillings have a high metal content, making them capable of withstanding even the most strongest bite. They are inexpensive and not the most preferred choice among patient’s, as it contains mercury and can cause damage to the dental structure as the mercury expands due to heat. Mercury fillings should not be used on pregnant women or people with certain health conditions.
On the other hand resin or white fillings also called tooth-colored fillings are realistic and are made of acrylic and glass composite. White, or composite, fillings are tooth colored and look natural. They set rather quickly as well, allowing patients to consume food and drink almost immediately without having to worry about damaging the new filling. These type of fillings are very common and bond directly to the tooth, resulting in stronger teeth.
Other forms of tooth fillings include gold fillings and procedures such as dental crowns, these are more expensive alternatives for tooth restoration.
However, today a new dental filling is in the pipeline and we can say bye to fillings and drillings, in the future. The new technology is a technique used to rebuild teeth using tiny electrical pulses. This system effectively reverses decay by using electrical currents to boost the tooth’s natural repair process. Minerals that are lost during decay and cause painful cavities, are replaced, removing the need for drilling and fillings of resin or amalgam. This technique is known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation (EAER), could be available within three years.
This new system is not only kinder to the patient, better for their teeth, cost-effective but pain free too. Researchers say that this can be used to whiten teeth, as well.
Today there are so many people who suffer from tooth decay and is one of the most common preventable diseases in the world. The method first prepares the damaged part of the enamel outer layer of the tooth, then uses a tiny electric current to draw calcium and phosphate in. Electric currents are already used by dentists to check the pulp or nerve of a tooth.
This tooth-rebuilding technique developed at King’s College London does away with fillings and instead encourages teeth to repair themselves. There is no doubt that this new method can make a big difference in dental health and for patients suffering from tooth decay.
Until this new technique is introduced, patients will have to make do with mercury or tooth colored dental fillings or even bet yet, no fillings at all. Prevention is the best medicine. Therefore, reduce the risk of cavities and other dental diseases by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet and regular dental checkups.