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Is a Restoration the Same As a Filling?

Restorations and fillings can repair your tooth, improve how they look, and help them function well. There are different types of fillings and restorations like Smiles by Design. You can choose your fillings and restorations based on your tooth’s condition. For Smiles by Design see Burbank Dental Lab. They collaborate with different dentists and dental specialists and create fillings and restorations to help people with dental problems. 

What is a Dental Restoration?

Dental restorations are different ways your dentist can repair or replace damaged teeth. They also repair missing parts of your tooth structure. Tooth structure could be affected due to various reasons like deterioration of old restoration, tooth decay, or fracture. Dental restorations help you chew your food better, improve your speech, and improve your smile. 

What to Expect After a Restorative Procedure?

Once the restoration is in place, your dentist will ask you to modify your drinking and eating habits for 24 hours. You will be asked to eat soft and cold food or drink warm soup if your teeth can tolerate the warmth. The dentist will tell you to continue flossing and brushing your teeth. However, they may tell you to floss only in one direction and pull the floss through to avoid damage to the temporary restoration.

Risks Involved in a Dental Restoration Procedure

There are very few risks involved in a dental restoration procedure. You may experience some sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure for some time. In rare cases, you may get an infection or an allergic reaction to the metals used. 

Recovery Time After Restorations

Typically, you will recover within 24 hours of dental restoration. If you have dentures, it can take you some time to get used to them. 

What is a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a procedure that is used to treat a tooth cavity. The dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and fills the area. Fillings also help repair a broken or cracked tooth. 

Dental Fillings Procedure

Given below is the procedure that dentists follow to fill up your teeth:

  • A local anesthetic numbs the area around the tooth that needs to be filled. 
  • The dentist then uses a drill, a laser, or an air abrasion instrument to remove the decayed portion of the tooth.
  • They then check the area to ensure all the decay is removed
  • They clean the cavity to prepare the area for the filling. 
  • If the decay is close to the root, the dentist first puts in a liner of composite resin or glass ionomer to protect the nerve. 
  • Finally, the dentist polishes the filling and completes the procedure. 

If you are getting tooth-colored fillings, there will be a few more additional steps in the procedure. The dentist will apply the tooth-colored filling in layers to the area after the decay is removed and the area is cleaned. The dentist will use a light to harden or cure each layer. Once the layers are applied, the dentist will polish the filling. 

Types of Filling Materials

There are many types of filling materials available today. Common ones include:

  • Composite Resin
  • Amalgam
  • Gold Fillings
  • Glass Ionomer

Do Fillings Hurt?

Most fillings will not hurt during the procedure as the area will be numbed. You may feel discomfort and excessive sensitivity for a couple of days after the procedure. However, if you experience extreme pain or notice pus or swelling in the area, you should contact your dentist immediately. These could be signs of an infection and can require additional treatment.

How Long Do Fillings Last?

You can expect your filling to last between 10 and 15 years. This depends on the material used and how you manage your teeth after getting the filling. There could be various reasons to replace your filling. The most common reason is regular wear and tear. Chewing food puts pressure on your filling. Over time, it can leak, crack, or fall out. Composite fillings may also lose color over time and look odd. You can get your composite fillings replaced to blend well with the other teeth.

Are Dental Restorations and Fillings the Same?

Dental restorations and fillings are not the same. Fillings are a type of dental restoration. While fillings clear the decay and plug the hole in your tooth, dental restorations restore your entire tooth. They try to bring the tooth as close to its original form as possible. They help the tooth look good and function like before.


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