Harder & Mehl

Dental Fillings - a range of options at a glance

This is where you will find more information on the process of treatment for tooth decay at our Dental Clinic. You will also find information on the material used as well as the pros and cons of each of the options for dental restoration. We will obviously be more than happy to personally assist you should you have any queries at all.

At our dental clinic all treatments are administered according to the latest evidence science has to offer. In this endeavour we always look for tailor-made solutions for our patients that correspond to our own high medical standards at the same time. What is important to us in our work is that you feel comfortable with us. This is why we place great emphasis on a patient-focused approach and a pleasant atmosphere at our Dental Clinic.

What is tooth decay?

Bacteria, food remnants and parts of saliva may settle on the tooth over time, building a thin coat – plaque. Food containing carbohydrates is broken down by these bacteria, and the bacteria produce acids. These break down hard structure of the tooth, micro organism can enter the tooth, and they can destroy it from inside. This is the cause of cavities.

How do I know I have a cavity?

Because there are no nerves in the dental enamel, the break-down process caused by the acid does not cause any pain. However, once tooth decay has reached the dentine, which is underneath the tooth enamel, tooth ache is the result. If left untreated tooth decay can now spread rapidly – down to the nerve of the tooth. This results in severe pain and inflammation of the nerve. What is known as deep-reaching tooth decay often requires root treatment.

How is tooth decay diagnosed?

Owing to the fact that tooth decay does not cause pain until it reaches an advanced stage, you should see a dentist twice a year. The earlier a cavity in your tooth is discovered, the lower the risk of deep-reaching tooth decay. Your health-insurance fund will bear the costs of this. We check your teeth and we can take action in time in case any of your teeth are affected by tooth decay. To achieve this we use substances that help us discover tooth decay. These are liquid intended specifically for this purpose. These substances change in colour in those places in which a tooth is affected by tooth decay. Should there be reason to believe that there is a cavity, an X-ray helps clarify how far the tooth decay has advanced and how this can best be treated.

How is tooth decay treated?

To remove tooth decay the area in question is anaesthetised locally, and the defect is removed by means of small drills. In this it is vital that as much of the tooth substance as possible be kept and that as little of it as possible be removed. This is one of the reasons why we, at our Practice Clinic, do not use amalgam. Using amalgam would require us to remove much more tooth substance. Composite fillings and inlays are much easier on the tooth substance

Composite filling or inlay?

Depending on the size of the cavity in your tooth different fillings may be used. Which filling is the best for you is something that we will decide together with you after giving detailed explanations of your options. The choice of filling depends on a number of factors. On one hand the size of the area affected by tooth decay is a factor but so are your wishes and expectations, on the other hand. It goes without saying that we will be open to you about any costs you may have bear for either composite fillings or inlays. We want you to have all the information required before you make a decision.

Composite fillings

Composite fillings, also known as plastic fillings, tend to be use mostly for small dental defects. These fillings are made of tooth-coloured, plastic material that is applied to your tooth in layers. Once applied the material is hardened with a special light. It is advisable to put a rubber surgery cloth around the tooth prior to inserting the composite filling. This keeps the adhesive surfaces saliva-free – this ensures an adhesive bond that is about 30% stronger between the plastic filling and the tooth. Finally both the composite filling and the area between the filling and the tooth are polished.

How long do ceramic filling and inlays last?

Ceramic fillings these days keep their colour for a long time. Depending on their size they may last between five to ten years on average. In contrast to this some ceramic fillings and gold inlays may last 20 years on average.

How long an inlay or a filling will last also depends on its position and size. In addition your oral hygiene is an important factor in the durability of your inlay or filling. Please use floss and/or a small brush to correctly clean the area of and around your inlay or filling. We will be more than glad to give you more advice on how to care for your fillings and/or inlays so you can enjoy them for a long time.

Will I have to pay for this?

Health care providers tend to fund the equivalent amount for a similar amalgam filling for all three options (composite filling, ceramic filling, and inlay). This amount is only around €30 to €60. The remainder of the cost will have to be born by yourself. However, most additional dental insurance policies will cover the cost of ceramic fillings, plastic fillings, and inlays.

More Questions?

We answer common questions about tooth preservation in detail for you – and will gladly answer them in a personal consultation!

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