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Fillings and Dental Treatment Abroad

Fillings is the term used for the restoration of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain. Fillings are placed immediately into a prepared cavity in a single visit. Materials used include dental amalgam, glass or resin ionomers and composite fillings.

Dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to repair damaged or decayed teeth. New materials such as ceramics and polymer compounds have not eliminated the usefulness of more traditional dental materials, such as gold, base metal alloys and dental amalgam. That’s because the strength and durability of traditional dental materials continue to make them useful for certain situations, such as fillings in the back teeth where chewing forces are greatest.

Grey Amalgam Fillings: Dental amalgam is the most researched and tested restorative material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are particularly useful for restoring molars in the back of the mouth or in areas where a cavity preparation is difficult to keep dry during the filling replacement, such as in deep fillings below the gum line. Amalgam fillings are considered biocompatible – they are well tolerated by patients. Disadvantages of amalgam include possible short-term sensitivity to hot or cold after the filling is placed. The grey coloured material is not as natural looking as one that is tooth-coloured, and to prepare the tooth, the dentist may need to remove more tooth structure to accommodate an amalgam filling than for other types of fillings.

White Composite Fillings: Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-coloured filling. They provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. The cost is moderate and depends on the size of the filling and the technique used by the dentist to place it in the prepared tooth. It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than what is required for an amalgam filling.

Ionomers Fillings: Glass ionomers are translucent, tooth-coloured materials made of a mixture of acrylic acids and fine glass powders that are used to fill cavities, particularly those on the root surfaces of teeth. Glass ionomers can release a small amount of fluoride  that may be beneficial for patients who are at high risk for decay. They are primarily used in areas not subject to heavy chewing pressure. Resin ionomers are also made from glass filler with acrylic acids and acrylic resin and they are also used for very small, no-load bearing fillings, on the root surfaces of teeth.

Process: Several fillings can be done at one appointment. On a particular tooth, root canal treatment must be done prior to fillings. A professional dental hygiene may be required prior to the fillings.

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