A cavity is caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth, which causes your tooth to decay. In that regard, it is also one of the more common dental care treatments, which includes treating the affected area of the tooth and filling any holes to prevent cavity-causing germs from entering and causing further deterioration.
On that note, a dental filling is a way to repair the impaired tooth and return it to its optimal function and shape. However, fillers are not made the same as it caters to different needs. What’s appropriate for your demands will be determined by the extent of the tooth’s restoration, along with careful regard to allergies to certain materials. To that end, the list below explores the different types of fillings that should suit the patient’s needs accordingly:
1. Silver Amalgam Fillings
This type of filling is the most common and has been widely used to fill cavities for decades. The material is strong and budget-friendly compared to other types. The namesake already suggests that it is an amalgam of different metals including tin, silver, copper, and mercury.
On that note, the use of mercury may leave you alarmed, however, when combined with other metals, it results in an effective and stable material that poses no health risks. In that regard, this type of filling is best used for larger areas of decay in parts of your teeth that endure a more substantial degree of stress daily, such as your molars, for instance. The disadvantage, however, is that silver amalgam fillings tend to expand and contract over time, which can create spaces in between the filling and the tooth, allowing new cavities to form in between the cracks.
2. Composite Fillings
These are attractive fillings that are well-favored because the color typically matches the rest of your teeth. The materials are a combination of resin and plastic, making it less durable than silver amalgam fillings. It can release small amounts of fluoride, which is used in reducing the risk of further tooth decay. However, it is pricier than most fillings and will need to be replaced every five years or so.
3. Ceramic Fillings
The ceramic filling is a type that is durable and visually appealing, which essentially combines the best qualities of composite and silver amalgam fillings. Having been made from porcelain, it is generally resistant to staining. Of course, with such quality means that it is also more costly.
4. Glass Lonomer Fillings
Constructed from a self-hardening mixture of glass and acrylic, this type of filling is designed for small filings and temporary restorations that last less than five years. In that regard, this is best used for children whose teeth are still changing. Also, it releases fluoride, which protects the changing tooth from deteriorating.
5. Gold Fillings
Gold fillings aren’t common and are typically used by top-charting musicians or rising stars in Hollywood. It is, however, more than just for show as the filling is durable, non-corrosive, and can last for more than 15 years. Unsurprisingly, it comes at a high price, which can increase as it will take more than one dental visit to fit a gold filling properly.
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your dental health, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.