Types of Tooth Fillings
If during a professional routine cleaning your dentist diagnoses a cavity, it is best to have it restored right away before it grows into something larger and causes more problems. Left untreated, a small dental filling dayton oh can grow and spread to other healthy teeth causing the need for more invasive treatment such as a crown or even a root canal.
Fortunately, there are a number of filling options available to restore a tooth to a healthy state and prevent further damage. Your dentist will evaluate the tooth and decide what type will be best for you.
Types of of tooth fillings that may be considered include:
- Composite: Fillings made of composite material are more popular than other options because the material can be tinted to match the rest of the tooth and results in a virtually unnoticeable restoration. Composite is not quite as strong as other materials such as mixed metals or porcelain so is best for teeth that do not absorb the brunt of pressure applied while chewing.
- Porcelain: Like composite, porcelain fillings are tooth colored and look incredibly natural! They are significantly more durable than composite but are typically only used for very large fillings or on posterior teeth. Porcelain is also a common material used for dental crowns.
- Gold: Gold fillings are the more expensive option upfront, but in the long run they may be more cost-effective. This type of filling will require a second visit to your dentist to have the filling placed. At your first visit, your dentist will take an impression to send it to the dental lab who will fabricate your gold filling. Gold is extremely durable and can last for decades where porcelain and composite fillings may need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.
- Amalgam: Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals, usually silver, copper, zinc, or even tin with about 50% mercury. Some patients prefer not to use amalgam because of the presence of mercury but the level of mercury is safe for patients who are at least six years old.
- Amalgam fillings are one of the least costly options and are incredibly durable and long-lasting. The biggest drawback is that they are silver and overtime, can become darker, giving your tooth an overall gray hue.
- Glass Ionomer: Glass ionomer and resin is most frequently used on children’s primary teeth. Decay in baby teeth can actually spread to unerupted adult teeth so it is important to have cavities filled as soon as they appear.
It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental cleanings so that they can examine the teeth and make sure everything is healthy. If they spot any decay, it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the tooth and neighboring teeth. Using oral care products that contain fluoride can help you and your family protect your teeth against cavities.
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