What Are Dental Fillings? Which Type Works Best?

What Are Dental Fillings? Which Type Works Best?

June 1, 2022

Despite the modern advancements in dentistry, tooth decay remains a problem for millions of adults and children globally. If not treated, tooth decay can lead to serious oral complications like tooth loss, gum infection, tooth abscesses, jawbone damage, and loose teeth. Fortunately, your dentist should be able to notice these side effects and treat them during your regular dental assessments and cleanings.

Your dentist will likely recommend dental fillings to repair a decayed or damaged tooth and prevent further damage. You’ll enjoy improved bite function and esthetics. If you have teeth damage, it’s essential to seek treatment ASAP. The longer you wait, the deeper the situation gets, and the harder it will be to treat. Contact our dentist in Antoine for more information.

How are Dental Fillings Used?

Getting a filling a simple, quick, and straightforward. Visit a dentist near you for dental fillings. Before placing the filling, your dentist will examine your teeth to determine the severity of your condition. If the damage is too significant to repair with a filling, the dentist can recommend dental inlays or Onlays, or crowns.

If you’re for dental fillings, your dentist will begin by numbing the area around the damaged tooth. Next, the dentist will drill through your teeth and remove all the infected tissues. The area is then cleaned and disinfected thoroughly to prevent re-infection. The procedure leaves behind a hole inside the tooth, significantly affecting its strength.

The dentist will fill the spaces with a filling material to restore the tooth’s structure and strength. Next, the dentist will polish the tooth to look natural. The dentist might recommend placing a dental crown for further strength and protection. Since a dental crown covers the entire tooth’s structure, it reduces the risk of re-infection.

Types of Dental Fillings

In the past, only silver amalgam fillings were available. But thanks to modern dental technology, more dental filling materials are available. Each of these fillings comes with its pros and cons. The right type of filling for you will depend on your budget, condition, esthetic needs, and your dentist’s recommendation.

Common materials for dental fillings include:

  • Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are ideal if you’re interested in strength and durability. Gold fillings can last for more than 20 years with proper dental care and habits. Gold fillings are gold and alloys of other metals. As far as their aesthetics are concerned, some people find their color impressive while others don’t. It all depends on your esthetic needs and preferences.

One of the key downsides of gold fillings is the cost. Gold fillings are almost ten times more costly than silver amalgam. They also require two dental visits compared to the one for composite or silver fillings. There’s also a concern about galvanic shock if a gold filling places next to a silver amalgam.

  • Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver amalgam fillings are mercury and metals like silver, tin, copper, and zinc. Perhaps the most notable advantage of silver amalgam fillings is their great strength and durability. Silver fillings can last for 10-15 years or more. Another benefit is that they are more affordable than other types of fillings.

On the flip side, silver amalgam fillings have a noticeable appearance, making them aesthetically unappealing. Similarly, some patients also complain about allergic reactions to the mercury ingredient in silver amalgam. Another disadvantage is that these fillings expand and contract when exposed to hot and cold temperatures. Over time, this could lead to teeth cracks and leaks.

  • Composite Fillings

Tooth-colored composite fillings match the color of your natural teeth, providing great aesthetics. They are completely unnoticeable when eating, speaking, or laughing. Another benefit of composite fillings is that they bond with your teeth easily, meaning that minimal tooth preparation is required.

One of the key downsides of composite fillings is that they are less durable and resistant to damage and stains than other fillings. They can easily crack, chip or stain. On average, composite fillings last for about 5-20 years.

  • Ceramic Fillings

These fillings are made from porcelain, giving them great aesthetics, durability, and strength. With proper dental care, these fillings should last for 15 years. Ceramic fillings are expensive and require multiple dental visits to the place.

  • Glass Ionomer

Glass ionomer fillings are acrylic and a specific type of glass material. Compared to other fillers, glass ionomer fillings are weaker and more susceptible to wear and damage. On the positive side, glass ionomers release fluoride, strengthening your teeth and protecting them from decay. On average, they last for less than five years.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you interested in dental fillings in Houston, TX? Contact SND Family Dental to book your appointment.

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