What is caries?
Caries, tooth decay or simply called "hole in the tooth", is one of the most common dental diseases worldwide and is caused by the destruction of the tooth structure. This is caused by the metabolism of bacteria in plaque, in which sugar from food is converted into acid.
Direct dental fillings - procedure and duration
In a first step, the tooth affected by caries is anaesthetised so that you do not feel any impact from the actual treatment. Now the caries is removed with special instruments and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned so all bacteria and germs are removed.
The further procedure depends on the chosen material of the tooth filling. In the case of filling materials made of amalgam or plastic, the materials are filled into the corresponding hole. For composite fillings, the tooth surface is first carefully roughened so that the filling adheres better. With the help of a special adhesive, the filling material is then placed in the cavity in layers and cured with a special UV lamp. The filling is then shaped and polished.
Depending on the size and degree of complexity of the tooth affected by caries, a caries treatment takes about 30 - 60 minutes.
Different types of dental fillings
Which dental filling fits best depends on which tooth is affected and which factors (e.g. durability, price and aesthetics) are important to the patient. In general, patients affected by caries can freely choose the type and material of filling.
As far as filling materials are concerned, a distinction is made between direct and indirect fillings. Direct fillings are placed directly into the tooth by your dentist and thus enable an immediate treatment of the cavity in the tooth. Direct plastic filling materials include plastics or composites, glass ionomer cements, compomers and amalgam. In our dental practice Seehofer we exclusively use so-called composite fillings to achieve the best possible tooth-like properties.
Indirect dental fillings, also called inlays, are a high-quality and particularly durable alternative to conventional dental fillings. Strictly speaking, they belong to the category of dentures and are individually made in our in-house laboratory. The materials used are gold, plastic or ceramic. If the damage to the tooth is very extensive, treatment with an onlay makes sense, as it covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth.
We would be pleased to advise you in more detail about your individual possibilities in our dental practice Seehofer. Make an appointment now!
Dental fillings - costs and health insurance
The assumption of costs for dental fillings should in any case be coordinated with your personal health insurance company. To be on the safe side, it is therefore recommended to submit the treatment plan to the insurance company. The standard care with the statutory health insurance for dental fillings in the posterior tooth area consists of amalgam or cement. In the case of high-quality synthetic fillings, the patient always has to pay an additional charge.
- Children under 14 years of age
- Pregnant women
- Nursing mothers
In general, the fixed allowance for statutory health insurance companies amounts to approx. 25 percent of the treatment costs. For private supplementarydental insurance (for those with statutory health insurance), the fixed allowance can rise to up to 70 percent. In the case of private comprehensive health insurance, the fixed allowance in many policies is between 70 and 100 percent of the costs incurred.
Dental fillings - pain
A dental filling is usually performed under local anesthesia, so that the patient does not feel any pain during the treatment. After the treatment and after the anaesthetic has worn off, slight pressure pain and temperature sensitivity may occur on the treated tooth for the first few days. Slight pain and swelling of the gums may also occur as the surrounding tissue is irritated by the procedure. Usually, however, patients have no or no complaints after the treatment.
Durability of dental fillings
The life span of a dental filling depends on the material, the processing as well as the individual care and varies greatly from filling to filling. Regular dental care, check-ups and professional tooth cleaning are crucial to prolong the life of a filling.
Gold and ceramic inlays have the longest durability and can remain in the mouth for many years and even decades. Direct dental fillings such as composites, compomers, plastics or amalgam must be replaced when they become brittle, which is usually between 4 - 6 years. However, this period can vary from shorter to longer. In our experience, glass ionomer cement has the lowest average life span and often has to be replaced after only a few years.
Causes of caries
Basically, there are two factors that favour the development of caries. These are on the one hand a poor nutrition (containing sugar, starch and acid) and on the other hand a lack of dental care. If teeth are brushed irregularly, plaque is formed, which consists of food residues, saliva and bacteria. The bacteria contained convert sugar into acids - caries develops.
Prevent tooth decay
Regular and thorough oral hygiene is essential for the effective prevention of dental caries. The teeth should be cleaned at least twice a day with the correct brushing technique. It is particularly important to clean your teeth thoroughly with a toothbrush, fluoride-containing toothpaste and dental floss or brush before going to bed.
Basically, sugar-containing foods and drinks should only be enjoyed in moderation to prevent tooth decay and necessary fillings. Tooth-friendly sweets taste at least as good and can be recognised by the little dentist logo on its side. Regular check-ups at the dentist (twice a year) can quickly detect and treat caries if necessary. The SOLO prophylaxis technique, which we have been successfully implementing in our practice for almost 20 years, is the guarantee for permanently healthy teeth and gums.