Every adult gets dental treatment at least once in his lifetime, whether it is front teeth fillings or routine care which typically involves generalized dental scaling or polishing. Dental caries are common in back teeth because the grooves and pits in them provide favorable conditions for microbes to attack, which is most commonly due to the food particles that get stuck in there. Also, some people find it quite challenging to brush their back teeth because they just simply can’t sense if their toothbrush is reaching there or not; this mostly depends on the way you brush your teeth.
Basic Human Teeth Anatomy
Before diving into the details, here’s a basic guide to the actual or scientific names of the teeth so you can accurately refer to them while scheduling your next appointment with your dentist. Humans have the following four types of teeth:
- Incisors – four teeth on the upper jaw (maxilla) and four teeth on the lower jaw (mandible); making a total of eight teeth.
- Canines – next to incisors, a sharp and pointy tooth is present on either side, on both jaws, making a total of four canines.
- Premolars – next to canines, a pair is present on either side, on both jaws; they are a total of eight in number.
- Molars – total twelve in number as a set of three on the very back of the oral cavity; present next to premolars on either side, on both top and bottom jaws.
Types of Dental Fillings
The type of dental fillings that the patients may want to be applied to treat their cavities depends on many factors such as the durability, recommendation from your dentist, or how much the cost your insurance will cover. Several types of back and front teeth fillings are used. It is entirely up to you to choose which should also align with the recommendations of your dentist or periodontist.
1. Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver amalgam fillings are prepared when mercury, tin, zinc, and copper are melted and mixed together to form a tough yet malleable material. These are the most cost-effective fillings and have a metallic look.
2. Composite Resin Fillings
Composite or compound resin fillings are meant to match the color of your teeth. These fillings are made by mixing a blend of polymers and resins together to make them less noticeable than silver amalgams. But if someone is looking closer, he/she will easily distinguish between real teeth and the color of the filling.
3. Isomeric Glass Fillings
It is a new and more durable type of filling and comprises a blend of various polymers and glass that serves to provide a lustrous natural look to your teeth.
4. Gold Fillings
Gold fillings are an alloy of gold, copper, and some other metals. They are expensive, typically soft and malleable, yet strong and durable. It is estimated that the gold fillings may last up to a duration of 20 years.
5. Porcelain Fillings
Porcelain material is an innovative option to select for the treatment of plaque and cavities. They provide the most natural look that aligns with the natural appearance of your teeth. These fillings blend alike around the simpler to complex structures of your teeth.
Check also, Porcelain Crowns
6. Formation of Cavities
The presence of food particles in molars gives birth to bacteria. As sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is a staple to our routine diet, the bacteria feed on that sugar and attack the mineralized protective layer of our teeth, known as enamel. Bacteria start producing acid which causes plaque.
This built-up plaque remains on the teeth and so the bacteria steadily keep digesting the enamel, causing erosions. Erosions create tiny holes in our teeth, forming cavities. As enamel is the hardest protective covering in our body, the formation of cavities is a long process because the bacteria take a good amount of time to eat away the enamel.
Usually, it becomes too late to observe these cavities in the initial stages. That’s why we often tend to ignore the correct way of brushing our teeth and maintaining overall dental hygiene.
Cavities can be either shallow or deep, that is, the bacteria may only eat the enamel or may go even deeper to decay the roots of the teeth. Once the enamel is digested, which is the hardest part, it becomes easier for the foreign agents to attack dentin – the softer part of the teeth. In this part of the teeth, the growth of the bacteria is multiplied, damaging the teeth much faster than they were on the enamel.
Abscess is the sensation of severe pain and discomfort in the teeth. It happens when the bacteria reach the center of the tooth, directly beneath the dentin, where resides a mass of connective tissues that is extremely sensitive to even the slightest abnormal conditions. This network of tissues is called the pulp chamber of a tooth.
Get services of Dental Implants, if needed.
How to Spot Dental Cavities?
The initial stages of dental caries are often neglected; a person might even not know he’s getting one. If you’re conscious about oral hygiene, you’re already active in getting a routine dental checkup. Your dentist may run an x-ray of your oral cavity in order to ensure its health. If there’s any chance of the occurrence of cavities, he’ll recommend you start getting the treatment as soon as possible.
Typically, dental cavities are visible as a discoloration on your teeth. The plaque may be either yellowish-brown or gray in color.
Dental caries give rise to sensitivity; patients may complain of having an extremely pinching sensation depending on the food they’re consuming. If they’re eating or drinking something hot such as tea or coffee, they’ll experience a painful sensation of warmth in the teeth. Similar is the case with eating anything cold or sweet. Dental sensitivity is a common side effect of plaque and cavities, which worsens the condition to the extent that the patients become unable to enjoy their favorite food, which disturbs their mentality as well as emotions.
Whether the cavities are present on the front or back teeth, they’re all the same for dentists. Treating the cavities of incisors and canines with front teeth fillings is easier to perform as compared to the fillings of premolars and molars.
The reasons for cavities are more or less the same for people of all ages. The most common and often neglected reason for dental caries is the consumption of a diet high in sugars and acidic or alcoholic foods or drinks. Improper methods or carelessness while brushing or flossing the teeth is also another factor contributing to the formation of caries, increasing the likelihood of dental fillings.
Are Dental Fillings Painful?
A lot of people are afraid of dental treatments, particularly fillings. The sound of the drill is also scary but front teeth fillings are not painful at all. Before starting the treatment, the assigned anesthesiologist will first give a local numbness to the oral cavity or in the area where filling is supposed to be done.
Parents must be surprised to know that even babies, toddlers, and children may need dental fillings, particularly front teeth fillings. The most common reason is baby bottle tooth decay. Dental hygiene is often neglected owing to the fact that babies are toothless; some parents feel there’s no need to clean the oral cavity. Customized toothbrushes and many other baby-friendly tools are available to ensure the oral hygiene of your children. It is also advisable to feed the least number of desserts to your children so the chances of cavities leading to front teeth fillings are reduced as much as possible.