A dental filling is a common way to bring back a decayed tooth to its normal shape and function. Dentists use different types of dental fillings to close off spaces where bacteria can enter. So the used types vary from person to person. Read more to learn about fillings types and to find out how your dentist choose the best one for you!
What Is a Filling?
To get a filling, your dentist starts with the removal of decayed tooth materials, continues with cleaning the affected area and finish the job by filling the cleaned out cavity with a proper filling material.
Dental fillings with closing the spaces and prevent further decay.
Note: If a large portion of your tooth is damaged, you will get a crown or cap. In case your nerve is reached by decay, root canal therapy or pulp of capping would be recommended.
Gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-coloured filling) and amalgam (an alloy of silver, tin, mercury, copper, and zinc) are the known materials used for fillings.
None of these dental fillings is best, however. In other words, different criteria decide which type of dental filling is best for you.
Gold fillings are customized and made to order in a laboratory. They can last more than 20 years because gold inlays are well fit gum tissues. However, they are among the most expensive dental services and require multiple visits.
Amalgam fillings or Silver fillings are inexpensive comparing to gold fillings. They are resistant to wear but due to their dark color, compared to porcelain or composite, cannot be used in front teeth.
Composite resins or plastic resins are favourite fillings of most people due to their tooth-color and reasonable price. They can be used where a natural appearance is your priority. For having a composite resin, your dentist will mix and place the ingredients directly into the cavity and let them harden.
A plastic resin will last from three to 10 years and may chip or wear over time. In case you have a lost filling or chipped filling, it can be repaired in an appointment.
Inlays or Onlays are porcelain fillings made to order in the lab. Like composite resins, they match the color of your teeth and resist staining. However, when it comes to cost, they are similar to gold fillings!
Do I Really Need Fillings?
Depth of the cavity is not visible with a sharp eye; so only a dentist who can detect a cavity in a checkup and decides about the type of fillings. He or she will use a small mirror or X-ray to examine the surface of your teeth. You will be asked about allergies to certain materials and then you would know where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost of it.