Dental fillings are the most common treatment for tooth decay.
Fillings can protect your already damaged teeth as well as avoid more intensive restorative treatments, such as root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
Smilist Dental Office uses state-of-the-art digital X-rays to accurately and efficiently detect cavities. This way, our dentists can diagnose cavities before they damage the entire tooth. We also use tooth-colored fillings made of high-quality composite. This material offers many benefits, both for your smile and for your long-term dental health.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are designed to completely fill small to medium cavities, thus repairing the tooth. In doing so, the material strengthens your tooth by strengthening the weakened tissue. A dental filling is used to treat a decayed tooth. In addition to composite dental fillings, there are a variety of dental fillings available.
- Amalgam filling
- Gold and ceramic inlays
- temporary cement fillings
Why composite fillings?
We opt for composite fillings instead of traditional amalgam restorations. Composites offer several important advantages:
- Due to the different shades of composites, we can find the shade that is almost identical to the color of your natural teeth.
- Composite resin bonds more securely to your tooth tissue than metal, effectively strengthening your damaged tooth.
- Composite fillings require less preparation work and less removal of tooth tissue.
- While metal expands and contracts in response to temperature changes, composite is a stable material. Thus, it will not weaken your tooth over time.
- Unlike silver amalgam, composite does not contain mercury
The course of treatment:
Before a filling is placed, your dentist will clean the damaged tooth and remove decaying tissue and bacteria. Your tooth and surrounding gums will be numbed for the treatment, so you will feel virtually nothing. After choosing the right shade, your dentist will place the material in the cavity that is usually caused by decay. It is applied in layers and each layer is hardened with a special curing light. Once the entire cavity is filled and the tooth is restored, the filling is matched to the bite block. A blue paper is used here. The patient bites the blue paper in different tooth positions to determine whether the filling has created incorrect contact points between the teeth. If this is the case, a correction is made to the tooth filling. Last but not least, the surface of your tooth is polished so that the filling has a natural shine, and the strength of your bite is not affected. After a tooth filling, it is advisable not to put any stress on the filled tooth for one to two hours, especially not to eat solid food and not to smoke. Especially then you should refrain from eating if the anesthesia is not yet over.
How long does the composite filling last?
On average, a high-quality composite filling lasts at least 7 years. Regular and correct cleaning of the teeth and dental visits as well as professional dental cleanings will ensure the maximum durability of the filling.
What costs does the health insurance cover for dental fillings¬?
The good news is that health insurance companies cover the costs of tooth-colored composite fillings in the anterior region. Anterior teeth include the incisors and canines of the upper and lower jaw.
The bad, in the posterior area, the costs are covered only for amalgam fillings.
On July 1, 2018, the EU Regulation 2017/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 17, 2017 on mercury and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1102/2008 came into force. Based on this regulation, there is now a ban on the use of dental amalgam in deciduous teeth, children under the age of 15, and pregnant and lactating patients, unless the dentist deems such treatment to be absolutely necessary due to specific medical requirements. Patients with statutory health insurance who are not allowed to receive dental fillings made of dental amalgam due to the aforementioned EU regulation are entitled to an alternative plastic filling for which the patients do not have to make a private co-payment. Depending on the individual indication, so-called composite fillings made of plastic have therefore also been included in the scope of health insurance benefits for these patients in the posterior region since July 1, 2018.
As a rule, the statutory health insurance funds do not cover the replacement of intact fillings.
Are there exceptions for allergy sufferers?
Yes, as an allergy sufferer with a proven amalgam allergy, the statutory health insurance funds also cover composite fillings in the posterior region. Composite fillings in the posterior region are also covered by the statutory health insurance in cases of severe renal insufficiency. The health insurance company then pays a subsidy equivalent to the cost of a composite filling. The statutory health insurers do not cover the replacement of intact dental fillings, even for allergy sufferers.