What is conservative dentistry?
Conservative dentistry is the field of dentistry dealing with the treatment of cavities caused by caries or injuries. The early treatment of caries helps to avoid serious complications leading even to the teeth loss. In the treatment of cavities specialized materials called fillings are used in order to protect the tooth against decay and damage.
What is a filling?
A filling is the reproduction of the anatomical structure of the tooth damaged as a result of cavities. The filling is made of the highest quality materials to restore the natural structure and properties of the tooth. Thanks to this, both aesthetics and correct anatomy as well as the articulation are preserved. In our office, we use only the highest quality nanohybrid filling, guaranteeing aesthetics and durability as well as composite and porcelain inlays and onlays, which are the best possible methods of reconstruction of lost tooth tissues.
Types of fillings:
- Composite – most often used, they can be selected according to the colour of the tooth. We distinguish two types of composite fillings: using light-cured and chemically hardened materials. They perfectly adhere to the preserved tissues, thanks to which it is possible to work on the cavity in an economical way (and thus it is not necessary to remove healthy tooth tissues). Teeth are reconstructed quickly and easily, often within one visit. Thanks to fluorine ions, composite fillings help in the prevention of caries. They strengthen the tooth structure and are resistant to crushing. Unfortunately, the higher abrasiveness and lower durability are the disadvantages of this type of filling.
- Porcelain Inlay & Onlay – these fillings allow the perfect reconstruction of the anatomical shape of the teeth. Porcelain is a very universal material, which is why it is often chosen to perform these fillings, based on the print taken. They are performed in the prosthetic laboratory and then pasted into the prepared cavity in the tooth. Binding materials are special cements and resins that remain leakproof and do not rinse. Inlay & Onlay are resistant to abrasion, thanks to which the tooth looks natural and retains its properties.
- Glass ionomer filling – it is a powder containing calcium-aluminium-silicon glass enriched with fluorine ions. Such a filling is biocompatible with living tissues. It is a crush resistant material, but not very resistant to stretching. It has a very good adhesion to dentine and is resistant to moisture.
- Golden Inlay & Onlay – in case of large losses, Inlay & Onlay is used in gold, because it is a material that does not cause allergies and is characterized by high durability. The abrasiveness of gold is similar to the level of abrasiveness of the enamel, and in addition it prevents the formation of secondary caries and has a bacteriostatic effect. Due to the colour of the housing, the filling is mainly used in upper molar teeth.
- Amalgam – it is a mercury alloy with several other metals, the oldest material used in conservative dentistry. By changing the percentage of metals in the composition, you can influence the properties of the fill. It is a very durable and indelible material, resistant to external conditions. Amalgam is usually used to treat lateral cavities or invisible cervical cavities, because it has a silver grey colour, which makes it stand out from the teeth and can cause discomfort. It is also a bit harder to use, as the cavity should be processed so that the filling does not fall out or break. Side effects include high thermal conductivity that can cause pain while eating.
Stages of filling:
- If the patient wishes it or the loss is deep, the dentist applies anaesthesia.
- Preparation of the cavity – the dentist cleans the carious cavity, removing the affected tissue with the help of a drill.
- In case of a deep cavity, the dentist puts material (a primer) on the bottom isolating the pulp from the filling so that the patient does not feel any discomfort.
- The filling process differs depending on the type of material. If it is a composite filling (the most common one), first the etching agent (special gel) is applied to the tooth. For some types of composite, no etchant is used. Its task is to prepare the tooth surface to be connected to the seal. Then the gel is rinsed off and the loss is dried, and then lubricated with a fluid – bond – which is irradiated with a polymerization lamp to cure it. Thanks to this, the tooth’s tissues combine with the seal. Then the correct filling is applied, in several layers, with each one being illuminated with a lamp to harden it.
- The final stage: matching the occlusion to the bite, that is, to give it a shape so that it does not cause discomfort to the patient. The dentist checks the seal with a special tracing paper that the patient bites and then adjusts it to the occlusion.