Friday, 24 March 2017

What types of dental fillings are there?

This is one question we get asked by our patients.  Dental fillings can be classified by the number of surfaces the dental filling restores.  The different dental filling classifications involve the following surfaces of the teeth.

Class I - the chewing surface of the back teeth
Class II - the chewing surface and one or more sides of a back tooth
Class III - the side along with the front and/or back of a front tooth
Class IV - the biting edge of a front tooth
Class V - the tongue or cheek side of a back tooth, just above the gumline

  • Front teeth are considered to be those between the canine teeth in the front of the mouth.  
  • Back teeth are considered to be those behind the canine teeth in the back of the mouth.

So when is the best time to obtain dental fillings?

The best time to have dental fillings placed is as soon as tooth damage or tooth decay is discovered.  Dental cavities advance over time. The presence of sugars and starches in the foods we eat combined with our normal oral bacteria create acids and promote the decay of tooth structure.
The earlier diseased tooth structure is removed and replaced by a dental filling the better because:
  • A greater amount of healthy tooth structure is retained.
  • The teeth are stronger because there is a greater ratio of strong tooth structure to dental filling material.
  • Treatment is less complex and therefore of shorter duration.
  • Treatment in early stages is often less expensive.
  • Treatment is usually accomplished with more comfort with less post-operative sensitivity.
One of the primary benefits of regular, periodic oral examinations is early discovery of tooth damage and decay to enable timely restoration of teeth

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