What are composite fillings?
In dentistry in Costa Rica, a composite filling is called a direct dental restoration, dental obturation or dental filling, which the specialist performs directly in the mouth.
Types of dental fillings
Dental fillings or restorations are procedures performed by the dentist to return the shape and function that have been lost to a damaged tooth. They are basically divided into 2 groups, according to the way they are made as indicated below.
- Direct restorations: If the damage to the tooth is due to cavities, small fractures, wear or another cause that does not affect the structural part of the piece, a filling or coverage is made directly in the mouth. The materials used can be diverse.
- Indirect restorations: If the damage to the tooth is structural or aesthetic, veneers, crowns or larger inlays are made in the dental laboratory. For this, a model of the dental piece is taken and the restoration is designed in the laboratory.
Materials for fillings – Dental Restoration
Traditionally, amalgam was used for dental fillings (dental amalgam fillings). Amalgam has the advantage of low cost but the disadvantage of being a highly visible metal. Currently, resin or composite fillings are most commonly used. These can be made to match the color of the tooth and, therefore, can be used in visible areas of the smile. This is called white dental fillings.
At Clínica Gil in San Pedro and Escazú, we use the latest generation resins for direct restorations – white fillings– that guarantee high quality and aesthetics, allowing us to fulfill our objective: that it works well, looks good and lasts for many years.
Change of amalgam filling for white resin filling.
For indirect restorations (veneers, crowns or large inlays) in the past porcelain metal was used; however, now the use of latest generation materials such as porcelain, zirconium and special resins has increased, especially with the introduction of the new CAD/CAM technologies (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing).
For indirect restorations, we have the latest in CAD/CAM digital technology. The model of the dental piece is made by means of a scanner that makes a copy of your mouth and transfers it to a digital model. This is sent to the digital laboratory that designs the restoration specially for each case. Once reviewed and approved by the Prosthodontist, it is manufactured digitally.
What are dental fillings used for?
If a tooth is damaged, whether due to decay, breaks, cracks or another cause, a restoration or filling must be made to recover the part of the tooth that was lost and to give functionality to the piece.
Esthetics must also be restored to the patient, especially in the part that is seen when smiling. Additionally, strength must be restored to the back part that supports the chewing force.
Repair of a fractured tooth
All the complicated tissue must be removed if a dental cavity is present. This will eliminate the possibility of continued damage to the dental tissue, avoid more serious damage to the nerve, and prevent the need of a root canal. As well, this can prevent even greater damage to the dental structure and the possible loss of the tooth.
Prices of dental fillings
There are different factors that affect the price of dental fillings:
- The type: If it is a direct filling, which is made in the mouth and not in the laboratory, the cost is lower.
- The material: Fillings can be made of different materials. The amalgam is less expensive than the resin. The price differs among the resins depending on the quality.
- The size: The size of the damage to be repaired determines the amount of material that must be used and the time that the dentist takes to make the restoration. This all affects the price.
Change of fractured resin