Many people are surprised to learn there are more than one type of filling. They get their fillings at their family dentist, and the family dentist tends to use the same type of filling.
Whatever kind of filling the dentist uses, they are simply ways to fix and stabilize a tooth that has a cavity, and no filling material is inherently superior to another.
The incidence of cavities, of course, can be greatly lowered through good dental hygiene, which can be read about at Pearly Whytes. However, if a cavity does occur there are a variety of fillings to choose from. They include:
These types of fillings are also called amalgam fillings, and they have been used by dentists for well over a century. Made of mercury, copper, silver, zinc or tin, they are inexpensive and durable, but some patients may be put off because they are dark and darken further with time.
Because of this, they’re almost always put on the back teeth. Other patients are wary of the mercury fillings involved in the amalgam, even though the FDA states the levels are safe for people over six.
Gold fillings really are made of gold, which is not only beautiful but biocompatible. The clear drawback is that gold fillings are expensive. Because they need to be custom made and cemented into the cleaned out the cavity, they require more than one session at the dentist’s office to be installed. This adds to their expense.
Even though they are beautiful, lots of patients are still wary of having them on their front teeth, so they are seldom seen. The good thing about gold fillings is that they don’t corrode and last at least 10 years. They shouldn’t be placed next to another metal filling, for this can cause galvanic shock to the patient.
Porcelain Tooth Fillings
Like gold fillings, porcelain fillings also need to be custom made for the patient in a dental lab then bonded to the tooth. They too are pricey, and the patient needs to make more than one trip to the dentist to have them. However, porcelain fillings have the advantage over gold or amalgam in that they can be made to perfectly match the color of the tooth.
Composite Resin Fillings
These types of fillings can also be made to match the color of the patient’s tooth. Since they are placed directly on the tooth, the patient only needs to make one visit to the dentist to have them. Composite resin fillings are best for smaller cavities in the front of the mouth, and their drawbacks are that they can stain and are not as long-lasting as other fillings.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
These fillings are used on small cavities that appear on baby teeth. Baby teeth need as much attention and care as permanent teeth. They are the place fillers for permanent teeth, and the loss of a baby tooth can be problematic.
Glass ionomer fillings are cream-colored and made of glass particles, a setting agent and acrylic. They chemically bond with the teeth and are both delicate and hard wearing. If they are used on permanent teeth, they are usually found in the front teeth, around the tooth root or places in between the teeth that don’t bear a load.
Since the particles of glass are made of fluoroaluminosilicate, they also fluoridate the teeth and protect against more decay. Ionomer fillings can also be made of glass particles with acids and resins made of acrylic. These are known as resin ionomer fillings.
A dentist is not only concerned with making your teeth look nice, but they are also worried about your overall health.
New Image Dental office is located in Inglewood near the Los Angeles Airport. We offer many new dental patients specials. Get our free Dental Implants guide here and Call our office today for a dental appointment.