Amalgam (Silver) filling is used to repair a tooth affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with amalgam. There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Amalgam fillings, along with composite (tooth coloured) fillings, are the most widely used today, with amalgam more commonly used in the back teeth since the colour is not as aesthetic as a composite filling.
Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment. You will be given post-care instructions after treatment. Some patients experience sensitivity to hot or cold after amalgam filling, this is normal and will subside shortly after the tooth has acclimatized to the new filling. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid the life of your new fillings. Amalgam fillings are very durable, and will last many years, but may someday need replacement.
Composite (tooth coloured) filling is used to repair decayed, chipped or fractured tooth. Can also be used to close spaces between teeth. Being tooth coloured, Composite can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suitable for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. They are usually placed in one appointment, and post-care instructions given. Composite fillings are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Glass Ionomer Cement Fillings
Glass ionomer cement (tooth coloured) fillings are used to repay decayed, chipped or fractured tooth. Also used as luting cement. They are usually placed in one appointment and this cement bonds chemically to teeth and gradually release fluoride over a period of time. Some patients experience sensitivity to hot or cold after glass ionomer cement filling, this is normal and will subside shortly after the tooth has acclimatized to the new filling. Glass ionomer cement (GIC) fillings are very durable, and will last many years, but may someday need replacement.
Pulp Capping is a technique used to prevent the dental pulp(innermost part of a tooth that houses the blood vessels and the nerves)from dying, after being exposed, or nearly exposed during cavity preparation. To prevent the pulp from deteriorating when exposed, a small amount of a sedative dressing, such as calcium hydroxide or MTA will be placed which further protects the pulp from noxious agents (heat, cold, bacteria) and stimulates the cell-rich zone of the pulp to lay down a bridge of reparative dentine(new tooth layer) over a period of 1- 6 months. Pulp capping can be direct or indirect.
In direct pulp capping, the protective dressing is placed over an exposed pulp after proper isolation, cleaning and drying followed by permanent restoration. While in Indirect pulp capping(stepwise caries removal),a thin layer of softened dentine, that if removed would expose the pulp is left in place and the sedative dressing like calcium hydroxide is placed on top followed by temporary filling material. A direct pulp cap is a one-stage procedure, but patient will be review after one year, whereas an indirect pulp cap is a two-stage procedure over about 6 months.
Endodontics (Root canal therapy)
Root canal therapy
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by deep decay, a crack or a blow to the teeth. In order to save the tooth, the decayed part, the pulp (the living tissue –nerves & blood vessels inside the tooth), and bacteria are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated dental materials that restores the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal therapy done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Nothing is as good as natural tooth.
Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for the adjacent teeth. This procedure requires one or more appointments, depending on the level of infection. While the tooth is numb, an access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal instruments are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the infected pulp tissues. Once thorough cleaning and drying is achieved, a medicament followed by temporary filling (in cases of multiple appointments) or a canal sealant followed by permanent filling (for single appointment) is placed.
Please note that, all root treated tooth should be crowned (capping) to further protect it from breakage and to restore it to full function.