A dental filling is a preventive dental treatment. The functions to protect your cavity-infected teeth from further damage. How do you get cavities exactly? When food gets stuck in the grooves of teeth, bacteria festers. Bacteria thrive on sugars and produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel, creating cavities (holes). If bacteria isn’t removed and the tooth disinfected and sealed with a filling, the infection is likely to spread to gums and bones. That’s why fillings serve as a preventative dental procedure.
Types of Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are more than one type. Your dentist will choose the right dental filling material for you. There are five types of dental fillings: gold, silver, glass ionomer, ceramic and tooth-colored fillings (composite fillings).
Gold fillings are the rarest and usually used on molar teeth. Most people don’t opt for gold tooth fillings for price and aesthetic purposes. Its distinctive gold color is visible while smiling or talking and gold fillings are expensive. Nevertheless, gold fillings are durable and last a long time.
Silver amalgam fillings are durable and relatively cheaper than gold fillings. Dentists mostly use this on posterior teeth. Like a gold filling, silver amalgam is also readily visible. Silver amalgam may also discolor the surrounding area or cause cracks. Patients also report tooth sensitivity using silver tooth fillings.
Glass ionomer fillings are technically made from acrylic plastic and a special type of glass. Dentists use this filling on children’s teeth because the ionomer releases fluoride, strengthening teeth and protecting against decay. Glass ionomers are more suited as a temporary filling than permanent solution though.
Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain. Porcelain fillings are very durable and last longer than 15 years. They cost more than gold, which is why patients hesitate to use them, but they don’t have the same aesthetic disadvantage of gold fillings.
Composite dental fillings
Because composite resins can be matched with your tooth’s natural color, they are an excellent option for a flawless smile. Dentists can match the color of the filling to your teeth’s natural hue, making this type of filling a viable option for anterior or posterior teeth. The material can fix cracked or chipped parts of the teeth as well.
Some interesting facts about dental fillings
Tooth Fillings can prevent infection
Deep dental cleanings require a tooth filling afterward. A temporary tooth filling gives the tooth time to heal, while acting as a sealant that blocks bacteria from entering the recently disinfected area. A temporary filling also helps the nerves around your mouth relax a bit.
Fillings mitigate pain
Decay can cause pain. You may also feel discomfort while chewing the softest food. Hence, getting a filling will ease the problem by forming a layer over the decayed tooth and calm nerves, inducing a soothing sensation.
Fillings last for a long time
Gold and porcelain fillings can last for 15-to-20 years because of their resilience to corrosion or damage, like chipping.
Fillings don’t last an eternity
This does seem to contradict the last point, but you can’t expect fillings to last forever. This is because the bond between your enamel and the filling eventually diminishes with time. When that happens, you need to schedule an appointment to replace the old fillings. Otherwise, you risk exposing your teeth to harmful bacteria and decay.
Porcelain fillings are more expensive than gold fillings
Three things make ceramic or porcelain teeth fillings expensive – the color, durability, and lifespan. Porcelain fillings are indistinguishable to natural teeth. They can withstand pressure, like that of chewing, and that kind of durability helps them last longer than other options, and is also one of the reasons porcelain fillings are more expensive than gold fillings.
Dental fillings in Monroe, NC
Our dentist in Monroe, NC, has established a family dental practice with a skilled Dental team to help patients achieve desirable results for a beautiful and healthy smile. Contact us to make an appointment!
Our Dental Practice in Monroe, NC
Monroe Family Dentistry is there for you and your children from day one and we are happy to work with you and your child to start habits from birth. If you live near Monroe, NC call us to schedule an appointment today at 704.776.4278.