It is the branch of dentistry that aims to treat the caries formed in the outer layers of the tooth such as enamel or dentin in the early period and thus to prevent the progression of the caries and to protect the vitality of the tooth.
In this way, the next steps, endodontics (root canal treatment) or tooth extraction are prevented. The resulting tooth material losses are treated with filling in an aesthetic, functional and compatible manner with the oral tissues.
Bacterial plaque, consisting of bacteria in the mouth, can form acid from the residues of sugary and floury foods. These acids dissolve the mineral tissue of the teeth, causing the enamel of the tooth to deteriorate and eventually the onset of dental caries.
In the selection of the type of filling to be applied to the patient, the area to be applied, the chewing forces effective in this area, the patient’s aesthetic expectations and the amount of material loss are of great importance.
Amalgam Fillings (Metal Fillings)
It has been the most preferred filling material over the years due to its durability and economical nature. Today, increasing aesthetic demands of patients, rumors about the effects of mercury contained in amalgam on human health, and adhesive systems (tooth-colored fillings) cause this material to be abandoned gradually.
In addition, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction to the materials contained in the amalgam. In fact, the amount of mercury released in the mouth as a result of chewing and grinding is much smaller than the amount ingested in water, air, and food. It has been concluded that mercury is harmless with all scientific researches. Although rare, people with different metal restorations in the mouth or when another metal such as a fork enters the oral environment, there may be sensitivities arising from electrification. Despite all these negativities, amalgam fillings are the most successful treatment method that can be applied after porcelain inlays in the teeth in the posterior region where chewing forces are high. . It is prepared by mixing 70% silver, 23% tin, a small amount of copper and zinc powder with mercury. The mixture is stacked in the cavity prepared by the dentist and the filling sets in a few hours. The area where amalgam filling is made should not use at least an hour; In the following 24 hours, care should be taken not to chew hard things in that area. The patient should be given a second appointment for polishing after 24 hours. Polishing will reduce corrosion by obtaining a smooth surface. As with every filling application, there may be hot-cold sensitivity for a short period of time after amalgam fillings.
Composite Resins (Tooth Colored Fillings, Aesthetic Fillings, Adhesive Systems)
Especially in cases where aesthetics is at the forefront, they are preferred tooth-colored restorations. Due to its bonding properties with the tooth, there is no need to remove material from the tooth in order to provide retention, as in amalgam fillings; Just removing the bruise is enough. Composite fillings are placed layer by layer in the prepared cavity and each layer is cured with a special light. When this process is finished, composite fillings are shaped according to the tooth and corrected.
Composites can be used not only for restoring caries, but also for cosmetic effects by changing the color and shape of teeth. The most important disadvantages are that there is some sensitivity after the procedure. Colors of the fillings may also change slightly with coloring foods such as coffee and tea.
In contrast to amalgam restorations, composite fillings are completed in one session. After treatment, the patient can use their tongue normally. The most important disadvantages are that there is some sensitivity after the procedure.
Inlays and Onlays
Root canal treatment is a kind of partial crown prosthesis that restores the loss of substance in the teeth due to factors such as caries and trauma, or in simpler terms, it is a kind of filling prepared from gold, various alloys, composite or porcelain in the laboratory.
In inlays and onlays, just as in laminate veneers, the intact part of the tooth is preserved in its natural state. It is preferred over metallic and dark colored amalgam restorations, especially in the posterior teeth of patients who have high aesthetic and comfort expectations. In addition, when a large number of fillings are required, porcelain fillings prepared in the laboratory are placed in the second session, following the tooth preparation and measurement stage in one session, thus saving time. Likewise, the preparation of restorations in the laboratory, not in the mouth like classical fillings, provides a perfect fit.
Contrary to the mercury in amalgam, porcelain is one of the most biologically compatible materials with human body. In addition to this, its high aesthetic properties also make porcelain preferred. Due to all these factors, the use of metal alloys and composites has decreased considerably today and has been replaced by porcelain inlays.