Dental fillings: what are they? what can and can't be done?

Dental fillings or fillings are one of the most frequently performed dental treatments. But what exactly are they, what are their advantages and disadvantages, and what can and cannot be done with them?

empastes dentales

¿What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are the restoration of tooth structure after a cavity or some kind of fracture.

The affected tissue is removed using a turbine and/or handpiece, a small cavity is made and then sealed with phosphoric acid, a bonding agent and composite.

The aim of dental fillings is to restore the tooth’s functionality and aesthetics so that it can chew and smile naturally again.

¿What are the advantages of dental fillings?

  • Adheres perfectly to the tooth surface.
  • It acts quickly and simply.
  • Rehabilitates the tooth.
  • Restores oral function.
  • Maintains previous aesthetics.

¿And what are the disadvantages?

  • It may chip, break or flake off after years of use. In this case, the treatment would have to be repeated. In general, it remains perfect for up to 10-15 years.
  • It can cause tooth sensitivity for up to a month.

¿What can you do after a filling?

  • Use dental floss and interproximal brushes for good oral hygiene.
  • Use mouthwashes and toothpastes with a high fluoride content.
  • Eat soft, but not sticky food after 30 minutes. It is also important to wait for the anaesthesia to wear off completely to avoid bites or wounds as there is no feeling in the area.
  • Drink after the initial half hour.

¿What can you NOT do after a filling?

  • Smoking
  • Eating hard or sticky foods for the first few hours.
  • Eat or drink during the first 30 minutes.
  • Drinking beverages or foods that stain during the first 24 hours, such as wine, tea, ketchup, etc.
  • Also avoid food or drink at extreme temperatures, as there may be increased sensitivity during the first few hours.
  • Avoid chewing with the affected tooth for the first six to eight hours to promote full recovery after treatment.