Restorative Dental Treatments
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE TREATMENT?
Restorative treatment is the restoration of material loss that occurred in the solid tissue (enamel and dentin) of the teeth due to decay or trauma. It also involves interventions that change the shape and color of the teeth to provide an aesthetic look.
WHAT IS TOOTH DECAY?
It is the most important factor that causes material loss in the teeth. It is caused by inadequate cleaning of the teeth after consuming food and drinks (food that contains sugar and carbohydrate, and drinks that contain sugar and acid) that might lead to tooth decay. When the tooth decay occurs, the patient’s tooth becomes sensitive to hot, cold and sweet. The surface of the tooth starts to turn brown. However, not all brown spots are tooth decays, and not all tooth decays are brown; sometimes there are white tooth decays or lesions. Not all decays are on the visible surface. Therefore, dental check-ups should be regularly carried out.
Material losses in the teeth that occur due to decay or trauma are restored with fillings in order to ensure that the function of the tooth is maintained. While materials that are resistant to mechanical forces are preferred on rear teeth, treatment of front teeth involves aesthetic materials. Amalgam or composites are used as filling materials. In addition, in the cases where there is excessive material loss, porcelain fillings are used.
SHOULD AMALGAM FILLINGS BE CHANGED?
Amalgam is a grey filling material that contains lead, copper and tin. Use of amalgam is controversial in terms of health due to its content. Its use has been banned in some European countries, such as Denmark and Norway, and decreased in countries, such as Finland, Holland, Japan and Singapore. Today, there are various studies on the harmful effects of amalgam fillings. However, the American Dental Association and American Food and Drug Administration stated that amalgam is safe and effective to be used as filling material. On the other hand, amalgam fillings require the extraction of the healthy tissue of the teeth in some cases. In addition, it cannot be used on visible areas due to its grey color. The decision to change the existing filling should be made depending on the compatibility and current state of the filling.
Composite fillings are strong fillings that have aesthetic and mechanical features. They are the most frequently used filling materials. They have a color scale compatible with the color of the teeth. As their bind with the tooth is strong, it can be applied even after only the removal of the decay. They protect and support the remaining tooth tissue. The procedure can be completed in a single session.
INLAY, ONLAY AND OVERLAY FILLINGS
When there is excessive material loss and the remaining tooth tissue is inadequate, the surface on which to bind the composite filling will be inadequate, and hence, the filling will not be mechanically resistant. In such cases, porcelain fillings are preferred. The whole decayed tissue is removed, and the gap is measured. The required filling is designed in the laboratory. As it is prepared in the laboratory, its compatible with the adjacent teeth. It supports the remaining tooth tissue, and it is aesthetically good. Depending on the loss of teeth, they can be prepared as inlay, onlay or overlay fillings.
DENTIN HYPERSENSITIVITY AND ITS TREATMENT
Beneath the enamel layer on the outer part of the tooth is the dentin layer. Due to its tubules, the dentin causes hypersensitivity when it is exposed inside the mouth. Gingival recession, cracks in the tooth or abrasions induced by grinding cause the dentin to be exposed. The treatment of dentin hypersensitivity is the application of desensitizing materials. When there is loss in tooth tissue, the integrity of the tooth can be maintained with composite fillings.