Cavities remain a worldwide concern for millions of individuals. If not treated on time, cavities can grow deeper, allowing the bacterial infection to penetrate the tooth’s pulp. When the tooth pulp is infected, you’re likely to experience severe symptoms such as toothaches, sensitivity, and abscess. If not eliminated properly, the infection spreads to the roots and other parts of the tooth, eventually leading to loose teeth, tooth loss, gum infection, and even jawbone damage.
Frequent dental exams and cleanings are essential to your oral health. The dentist can check your dental health for such issues and provide the necessary treatment. If you have minor dental damages and cavities, your dentist will likely recommend a dental filling. A filling is a bonded material that repairs damage and restores the tooth’s strength and health.
Initially, silver or amalgam fillings were the only option. However, the metallic nature of these fillings was a concern for many patients looking for less noticeable restorations. Fortunately, now you have several options to consider when looking to restore your tooth’s health using a filling.
Dental fillings come in various materials and procedures. For instance, some fillings are direct, meaning they can be placed directly to the damage. For indirect fillings, the dentist begins by taking impressions of the damaged tooth to make a customized filling. Your dentist will review the condition of your tooth to determine which procedure is right for you.
If you’re looking for strength and durability, a gold filling is your best option. A gold filling is gold and combinations of other metals. These fillings are very strong, stable, non-corrosive, and can last for more than 20 years with proper care. The only major drawback is that they are more expensive than alternative fillings. Also, they have poor aesthetics, and the procedure requires more than one appointment to complete.
Silver amalgam fillings are silver and a combination of other minerals such as zinc, copper, tin, and mercury. On the positive side, these fillings are very sturdy, long-lasting, and less expensive than alternative fillings. On the downside, they are not aesthetically appealing. Also, some people complain about allergic reactions due to mercury. Additionally, the material responds to temperature changes, which can cause the teeth to crack.
Porcelain is famous for its excellent aesthetics. Porcelain fillings are customized to look like your natural teeth and require multiple appointments. Generally, porcelain fillings are strong, durable, and resist wear and stains better than natural teeth. On the downside, they aren’t as strong and long-lasting as gold and silver fillings.
Composite fillings are resin and plastic materials. It’s placed inside the tooth and hardened with a special curing light. Like porcelain fillings, they are aesthetically appealing. The only major drawback is that they aren’t as long-lasting as alternative fillings. With proper care, they can last for 5-10 years.
Ceramic fillings are porcelain. Compared to composite fillings, they are stronger and resist staining and abrasion better. While ceramic fillings are aesthetically appealing, they are more expensive than porcelain and composite fillings. Since ceramic fillings are more brittle, they are ideal on large cavities to prevent breakage.
The fillings are a combination of acrylic and glass. They are ideal for children’s teeth, which are still forming. One benefit of using these fillings is that they release fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay. Unfortunately, they only last for a few years and don’t look natural like composite and porcelain fillings.
When choosing the best material for fillings, only your dentist can help you determine which material is ideal for your needs. The dentist can review the location of the damaged tooth, the severity of the damage, budget, insurance coverage, and personal preferences. For more information about teeth fillings services, contact Wellesley Dental Arts.