The tooth is a normally protected by a dead layer of enamel which is the hardest substance of our body. Under this layer of enamel lies the dentin which contains free nerve endings . This nerve endings are sensitive to heat and cold. When due to faulty brushing or due to caries this enamel goes off and the dentin is exposed the patient might feel severe sensitivity or pain to cold. To treat this problem dentist can do the fillings if the pulp is not exposed. Dentist can perform several filling techniques. The dental fillings include mainly amalgam, glass ionomer cement and composite as permanent filling material. Whereas zinc oxide cements are used as temporary filling material. Among these dental filling materials amalgam is non-tooth coloured but the other two are the tooth colour filling materials.
Normally filling the tooth is a single visit procedure where the dentist prepares the tooth surface removes the decay and put suitable filling material to restore the lost enamel and dentin. Filling is usually painless procedure but patient may occasionally experience sensitivity or pain. In deep caries excavation local anaesthesia can be given.
Filling the tooth is very common in dental practice and it has a very good outcome for the problems that the patient is suffering from.
Normally it takes single visit to the dentist for filling. But if the caries is very deep then this filling can have two appointments 6 month apart.
With amalgam filling it has some side effects like allergic reaction to toxicity from mercury. But other filling materials are potentially safe.