Tooth decay and cavities remain one of the most common problems people encounter in their daily lives, despite advances in dental hygiene and dental care. If not treated properly and on time, tooth decay can lead to more severe dental health problems, including abscessed and failing teeth.
Hence, it is important to go to your dentist for your biannual visit to identify and treat the early signs of tooth decay and other dental health problems. Cavities usually happen due to the lack of proper oral health care, like irregular brushing of teeth, plaque formation, dry mouth, etc. The best and easiest way to treat cavities at their early stages is by dental fillings.
Dental Filling is the process of removing the decayed and damaged portion of the tooth and filling the area with a substance made from dental-grade materials. Though dental fillings are most commonly used to fill cavities, they can also be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) or to replace part of a broken tooth. They can help restore the shape, strength, aesthetics, and functionality of the teeth.
Types of Dental Fillings
Metal fillings used to be the only type of dental fillings which were made from amalgam, silver, gold, etc. Now the use of metal fillings has been limited due to their striking appearance, most fillings are now done with tooth-colored biocompatible fillings.
The different types of materials that are used to fill cavities in the teeth include:
- Silver amalgam
- Glass ionomers
Your dentist will help you determine the most suitable material for your needs, considering your aesthetic preferences, dental condition, the severity of the decay, what your insurance may cover, and your budget.
Gold fillings: They are strong and non-corrosive, and with proper care, they can last up to 15 years.
Silver amalgam fillings: They are strong and sturdy, and hence, ideal for filling cavities in the back teeth, where chewing takes place. However, since they are made of a combination of metallic elements, they are easily noticeable. Since they are not aesthetically pleasing, they are not usually preferred for the front teeth.
Composite fillings: Also referred to as composites or filled resins, composite fillings are made of a combination of glass or quartz filler. It is one of the most preferred tooth filling options as it can be made to match your tooth's color. They are also fairly durable and are good for small-to-mid-size restorations in areas of your mouth that perform moderate chewing.
Ceramic fillings: They are made of porcelain which is tooth-colored so they are aesthetically pleasing. They are very durable and less likely to show tooth stains over time than a composite cavity filling.
Glass ionomers: They are a blend of acrylic and glass and is used to create a cavity filling that releases fluoride to help protect teeth. Glass ionomers filling is less durable than other types of fillings and will need replacement in five years. Hence, they are a good choice for children.
Taking Care of Cavity Fillings
After receiving tooth fillings, you may experience some sensitivity and discomfort, but this will subside soon. Follow your regular oral care routine, and do not miss your biannual dental checkups to maintain a beautiful smile.
Call us at (281) 340-1333 or schedule an online appointment with Dr. Bishay at our office in Sugar Land, TX to know more about dental fillings.