Dental sealants: what are dental fillings

Tooth filling is a common dental surgery. Almost every person after 20 years there is at least one seal. The need to put the seal on the tooth occurs due to the influence of bacteria on the enamel, resulting in tooth decay and formation of cavities. The sooner you do, the better for you.

The types of seals

In dentistry today there are dozens of different materials used for carious teeth. There are several basic categories to consider the types of fillings for teeth, used for most often.


The simplest and most affordable are cement fillings. In addition to low cost, advantages are properties of the material: it firmly adheres to the enamel and lasts long enough. However, such compositions are visible on the surface and over time can deteriorate. Mostly we seal the tooth with cement used in state-financed clinics.

There are several types of cement and to understand which seals better look at each of them:

  • Phosphate. Today they are used mainly to create a cushioning layer put under the prosthesis. Containing mainly zinc and phosphoric acid.
  • Silicate. This aluminum silicate with phosphoric acid, i.e. glass. They are used for all types of work, besides allocated fluoride prevents the formation of new caries, but at the same time it can burn the pulp.
  • Glass ionomer. Allow to treat damage of any complexity, easy to apply and do not affect the pulp. Ideal for the formation of tight adhesion to enamel and insulation holes.


Amalgam has a great service life of the seal. It is a metal alloy, based on tin and mercury. Today this type of material is almost never used in dentistry. This is because to replace amalgam came better quality and more aesthetically pleasing materials.

The sealed metal tooth significantly stands out among the rest. Over time, it can acquire specific tone. To install the seals need to drill a large number of healthy tissue. In addition, amalgam is susceptible to temperature effects, and therefore significant variations can cause cracking in the enamel.

Another concern is the poisoning of the organism with mercury. This fact has not been proven, therefore, the use of amalgam is considered safe.

Plastic and composites

Quite often, there are different types of dental fillings made of composite and polymer materials. They are quite durable with a shelf life of fillings for at least five years. However, there is the problem of shrinkage due to the reduction of the volume of material, which adversely affects the condition of the tooth.

There are the following compositions:

  • Plastic. Fast freeze and have a large margin of safety. However, they do not interact with the chemicals, but over time is able to be painted in a different color.
  • Acrylic. They are also very durable and chemically stable, can not be erased with time. However, acrylic compounds are not recommended, especially on neapolitani teeth. Such a compound has a toxic effect on the body, especially to adjacent healthy tissue. It may cause damage to other teeth.
  • Epoxy. Strong enough, will hold for at least 5 years. Epoxy resins have less toxicity, easy moulding, but in the early years of the darken.
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If you consider what dental fillings better, a clear leader in terms of quality be ceramic varieties. They have the following properties:

  • Strength. Ceramic is very durable, it withstands the masticatory load, does not react to temperature fluctuations, resistant to abrasion.
  • Mould resistance. The material retains its volume and shape, does not shrink and therefore does not lead to destruction of the enamel.
  • Color. Fill the tooth is virtually indistinguishable from a healthy, matched the original shade or use transparent compositions. It is possible to imitate the natural surface of healthy enamel.
  • Installation. Dental ceramics is made under the impression of the tooth, so perfectly fills all space and is not allocated on the General background.
  • Security. Ceramic is completely non-toxic, does not react to chemicals that do not irritate the tissue in the oral cavity and the pulp.

There are several varieties of pottery, but in General their properties are similar and significantly superior to other types of materials.


If we talk about what are fillings for teeth, not to mention modern hybrid materials. They are made by mixing two or three varieties, so that they acquire some of the advantages and disadvantages of the framework as well as acquire new properties.

Examples of hybrids are combinations of polymers, cermets, and such kinds of materials:

  • Compomers. It is a mixture of composites and glass ionomer. If you need quality temporary filling, it is better to put such material. Compomers combine perfectly with the tooth, they are almost invisible on its surface, unlike pure glass ionomer. But the lifespan of them is small, although the price is not low.
  • Composites and pigment. Children make fillings made of composite materials with the addition of colored pigment. They are visible in primary teeth, but as the latter will fall out anyway – it doesn’t matter. But for children it is easier to postpone the visit to the dentist, choice of color of the seal has a positive psychological impact.
  • Erkodent-cement. It is a combination of the basic cement formulations. This material is more perfect in its qualities. Additionally can be used in admixture of silver for the prevention of caries.

Methods of curing

Methodology as put the seal of one type or another are different. Depending on the material and its properties, there are several varieties of them according to the method of curing. What better choice depends on the individual case. For example, to eliminate small surface defect will be sufficient the simplest self-hardening mass or polymers. But to restore the surface of teeth after extensive damage, requiring several layers, it is better to use light materials. In any case, you need to focus on the specific situation and challenges that confront the doctor, as well as the available budget of the patient.

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A hardened mass

The most simple in terms of installation – self-hardening mass. They are now used very rarely, most free clinics. Cement compositions which harden under the influence of the external environment.
However, the installation of seals on the tooth of this type is considered highly reliable. These materials adhere well with the surface. During operation, you need to act quickly, as a small piece of cement quickly hardens. How long does this material depends on the quality of the work performed. Overall this is a durable type of fillings, but it is likely to provoke the development of caries under it.

Chemical solidification

Somewhat similar principle is observed in how the seal is chemical curing. This category includes polymeric materials and porcelain. This is a very good modern option, as this method of curing allows you to give the material a dense structure over the entire volume, regardless of the number and depth of occurrence.
To achieve a chemical reaction polymerization is possible through the connection of the base material and activator. There are two types of combinations: «powder-to-emulsion», or more convenient to use «paste-paste». To catalyze the chemical processes of curing, it is necessary to mix both components in certain proportions.
For example, epoxy seals belong to this type. After you add the catalyst you need to act very quickly, as the finished dental material begins to harden.

Svetotsvetovoy compositions


To seal the tooth better to use light seals. They are also called photopolymer. The peculiarity of this type is the need for additional equipment to run the processes of curing. That’s why in modern dental offices must have an ultraviolet lamp. Its light activates the material properties and contributes to its polymerization.

A light seal is better to use for complex works, especially when you want to create a surface that mimics a real tooth.

The dentist gets the opportunity to work with the material, to adjust its shape, add or decrease the volume as long as the result is not fully satisfactory. All this time the mass will remain plastic.

Apply liquid polymers, to fill all voids and cracks in the tooth. Coating by layer. After each layer is applied the UV lamp. After consolidation of the final layer of tooth is ground, if there are irregularities and excess material, and then polished to give it a natural Shine and perfect smoothness.

The method of sealing the tooth

Now consider the process of how sealed teeth. From how efficiently and professionally it was done fillings depends on their future condition and appearance. Normal tooth should not significantly stand out, the patient should not experience discomfort and even more pain after treatment. The physician must take care to stop caries and prevent loss of the seal.

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Preparatory manipulations

The process of sealing the tooth starts with careful preparation of the oral cavity. Inspection using modern tools allows you to identify areas affected by caries. If the problem lies in the depth of the tooth, may require cleaning of canals and removal of the nerve. Each operation has a cost, so these issues need to be agreed in advance with your dentist. Save or on the preparation or on the materials themselves is not recommended.

Teeth are treated with medications, and using a drill removes the destroyed tissue. For patient comfort it is better to do cauterized. In some cases, pre-installed a temporary seal, under which lays the cure. You may also need pre-op x-ray examination or the manufacture of teeth for forming a seal.

The imposition and subsequent processing of the seal

Directly the seal installation is carried out after removing all the damaged tissue, and in some cases part of a healthy. Specific technique depends on which seal it was decided to use. A plastic mass is applied to the hole and pushed inside. Liquid polymers are somewhat easier to work, as they are able to fill all the cracks. It is necessary to achieve a snug fit of the material and surface alignment in accordance with the shape of the tooth.

Pre-used application of self-hardening filling material for closing the formed channels. The front seal is applied to any other composition. The most expensive cost to install light seals, the works take more time. However, this option is considered to be one of the best. The alternative is a ceramic tab. For once fails to set the cement, metal and some composite fillings, but not all materials from these groups are being used today, especially in private clinics.
The choice of material remains with the patient, but better to clarify all the pros and cons of available options and their cost at the dentist.