What Are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?
What Are Dental Fillings?
They are oral materials in restorative dentistry that repair and restore diseased and damaged tooth enamels. Usually, fillings dentists primarily use different materials to replace the portion of tooth enamel damaged by infections. Still, dental fillings can serve as preventive measures to fight against bacteria that cause tooth cavities.
Common Types of Dental Fillings in Dentistry
The materials featured in dental fillings make them different from each other. They include the following:
- Gold fillings – feature gold as the primary material. These metal-based fillings are very sturdy, making them perfect for restoring molars and premolars. However, they are very conscious, compared to the color of your natural teeth. Besides, the gold component in them makes gold fillings quite expensive.
- Amalgams – are also called silver fillings. They are also metal-based fillings, typically featuring a silver alloy containing other metals like copper, zinc, and mercury. For many years, amalgams were the most used type of tooth fillings. They are also sturdy materials for restoring teeth. However, the color of amalgams is unsightly, which has become one of the reasons why many patients opt for different materials.
- Composite fillings – feature a tooth-colored composite resin that can be color-matched to your natural teeth. Dentists in Chester Springs can use composite fillings for both preventive and restorative dental care. Therefore, composite fillings can repair damaged teeth or prevent dental cavities from forming on teeth.
- Porcelain fillings – are tooth-colored tooth fillings featuring porcelain. These dental fillings near you are the most natural-looking, making them stand out for patients conscious of their aesthetic appearance. However, these tooth fillings are indirect restorations, meaning that they need to be created in a dental laboratory as a single unit before installation. Porcelain fillings make for sturdy restorations that can last a long time.
- Glass ionomer fillings – are also called dental sealants. They are mostly preventive restorations to protect teeth against bacteria that cause dental cavities. They are packed with fluoride, releasing it in regulated amounts throughout the wear time. These features make glass ionomers very popular in pediatric dentistry, especially among cavity-prone toddlers and teenagers.
What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
The first step of any dental filling procedure entails numbing your mouth. Your dentist will use local anesthesia, which numbs the area around the target tooth, making the rest of the procedure painless. After that, the dentist will use a dental tool, either a drill, air abrasion instrument or laser, to remove the damaged part of your tooth. Other than personal preferences, a dentist will select the tool based on the location and extent of the decay or damage.
After removing all the infected portions of your tooth, the dentist will examine and test the tooth to determine if any infection remains. At this stage, the dentist will start preparing the space for the dental filling. Preparation entails cleaning the cavity or hole to remove any bacteria and debris. After cleaning the tooth, the dentist will fill it with your dental filling of choice, then finish off by polishing it.
When receiving porcelain fillings, the process may be a little different. After your dentist at Dentist of Chester Springs cleans your tooth (s)he will begin to take its impressions that will guide the creation of your indirect fillings. Afterward, (s)he will place a temporary dental crown over your tooth while focusing on designing the porcelain filling. The process may take up to two weeks. Once complete, the installation of your porcelain filling is simple. The dentist will place the indirect filling to adhere to the natural tooth structure using dental cement.
Should You Get Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings offer a quick and simpler solution for restoring damaged teeth. If you do not desire a tooth filling, you may have to settle for other dental treatments like root canal therapies or tooth extractions. The good thing about dental fillings is that they offer many materials you can choose to match your expectations and preferences. Besides, your dental fillings can protect your natural teeth for over 10 years. Some materials can last even up to 20 years or longer.