What are the preparations for treatment?
As a preparation, cofferdam can be applied by your dentist.
Is the treatment painful?
The treatment can be painful, depending on the depth of the filling and the sensitivity of your teeth. It is always difficult to estimate in advance before a dentist needs to be anesthetized. The patient's request is the deciding factor. The individual differences in sensitivity are too large to be able to decide that for someone else.
How often do I have to come to the practice?
What inconveniences can I expect during treatment?
- The inconvenience of the anesthetic, if you have had it. An anesthetic in the lower jaw can work for three to four hours. So long the jaw feels stiff. You usually have fewer problems with anesthesia in the upper jaw. Sometimes it is sufficient, also in the lower jaw, to give a very local anesthetic right next to the tooth or molar to be treated; this often results in less after-storage.
- A puncture in the palate is not necessary for a filling. This is a rather dreaded anesthetic, but this one, if injected slowly, does not have to hurt either.
- The inconvenience of water cooling.
- The adhesive layer of the composite has a bad taste.
- If the filling is far behind in your mouth, it is difficult for the dentist to maneuver and it is difficult for you to keep your mouth wide open for a long time.
- To ensure that the molar to be filled is not glued to the neighbor molars, the dentist will apply a separation between the molars. This is a metal or plastic strap that is clamped tightly around the tooth. This can be just as painful or unpleasant, especially since the strap is partially covered by the gums.
First, the old restoration will have to be removed. The old (usually amalgam) filling is drilled out and all sharps are extracted with a large extractor so that you do not swallow it. When the old filling has been removed, the remaining part of the element is inspected for damage, discoloration and other inaccuracies, all of which are also removed. If a nice intact part of the tooth remains, filling can start.
The element is sometimes additionally cleaned with a brush with cleaning agent. It is then pre-treated with an acid or other impregnating agent to increase adhesion. The element is now prepared to apply composite. An adhesive layer is applied and cured by means of the light-curing lamp. The composite filling is then built up in layers and cured until the desired tooth shape is obtained. The filling is finally polished to a high gloss.
Which additional objections can I expect?
The most common complaint after applying a new composite filling is post-pain. This post-pain diminishes over time and normally disappears within two weeks, or at least clearly reduced. The post-pain is caused by a composite filling being glued to the dental element and then shrinking during curing. This creates tension on the element. One person definitely has a much more sensitive tooth than the other and will therefore suffer more from pain. Tuna can be reduced by using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. You can of course take a painkiller if the pain is temporarily too severe. Wait for an hour with food and drink after treatment to allow the composite to cure completely.
The end result is a cool looking tooth or molar. The result is spectacular, especially if the composite filling is a replacement for an amalgam filling. A composite filling can even have a firming effect because it is glued to the walls of the element.
You will quickly "forget" a composite filling, after a short while it simply belongs to the rest of your teeth. Composite, no matter how well you polish, is always a bit rougher than your own tooth enamel, which means that the filling must be kept clean, especially the edges. With a filled tooth, flossing every day is a must.
Sometimes a filling is a limit case, your dentist will doubt whether the hole becomes so deep that a root canal treatment must be done. This depends on many factors, including the construction and sensitivity of your teeth. It may happen that an element in which a large composite filling has been placed will play up over time or just after the treatment and a root canal treatment must still be done. The filling just made was not made for nothing and does not have to be completely removed again. Only a small hole is made in the top of the molar or in the back if it is a tooth.
Alternatives and pros and cons
- Direct inlay of composite;
- Indirect porcelain inlay;
Advantages of the composite filling:
- Beautiful color;
- To be applied in one session;
- Because the filling is glued to the element, it is no longer necessary to drill an extra large hole for a hold.
- Wear (is no longer as bad as before);
- Discoloration (especially when smoking);
- After pain;
- You can be allergic to composite.