As its name suggests, a dental filling is the material used to fill a cavity in your teeth. It can be made of porcelain, gold, composite resin, or an amalgam. Each option has its own set of pros and cons. You can find out more about each type of filling material and decide with your dentist as to which one to use.
- Porcelain (ceramic) This is shaped to fit the cavity perfectly, and it blends with the tooth. This is extremely natural-looking in shape and color.
However, it is comparatively more expensive than composite or amalgam fillings. It’s bulky, so you may have to lose more of your
healthy tooth material to make room for it as well. This option may also require more than a single visit.
- Amalgam This is the classic option, and you can tell the fillings are amalgam because of the silver color.
Amalgam is made out of silver, tin, and mercury. It is relatively inexpensive and also quite durable.
However, because it’s made of metal there may be issues with heat and cold sensitivity. The metal also darkens over time,
plus some people are concerned about the use of mercury. Amalgam fillings also need the removal of healthy parts of your tooth
so that the filling can adhere correctly.
- Composite This is fast becoming an extremely popular choice because of its benefits. It looks natural, and it can adhere properly without the removal of healthy tooth material. It can even be bonded to the tooth for added strength.
On the other hand, it has a tendency to stain easily if you drink a lot of caffeinated drinks. It’s also more expensive than amalgam.
- Gold Now this is the most expensive dental filling option. Gold is extremely durable, and it is resistant to tarnishing and corrosion. It’s an extremely effective filling that prevents bits of food, bacteria, and even saliva from getting through to the cavity.
But as you may well know, a gold filling doesn’t look natural, although some people actually like its prominent appearance. It may also conduct heat and cold, although this may only last a few weeks.
A dental filling procedure starts with the removal of the decayed tooth material. The affected areas are then cleaned thoroughly and then the filling is added and bonded.
The use of a dental filling is often the easiest restorative treatment that can repair decayed teeth.
- The filling can be made to make up for the missing tooth materials so you can still properly chew your food.
- It can restore the look of your teeth to a more natural appearance.
- The fillings also close off the hole into which more bacteria can get though, and this can prevent further tooth decay.
- If your tooth has become sensitive due to enamel loss, dental filling can treat the problem.
The use of dental fillings is very common. It’s only when dental fillings are insufficient to repair a tooth that dentists recommend other treatment options such as a dental crown or a root canal. If the damage to the tooth is too extreme, the decayed tooth may have to be extracted.