Dental fillings are a tried-and-true way of restoring the integrity of a tooth damaged by decay. Gateway Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro is proud to offer the latest in dental filling technology and technique.
Dental fillings are created from a number of materials–including natural-looking composite resin or porcelain.
Here’s what you should know about a dental filling procedure:
Fillings can be made of amalgam, gold, composite resin, glass ionomers and even porcelain. Amalgam and composite resin are the best-known materials used in fillings.
What should know about these materials?
Amalgam fillings have been used to restore teeth with cavities or decay for over 150 years. An amalgam filling is comprised of several metals, including elemental mercury, silver, tin and copper. Because of the composition of amalgam, an amalgam filling appears silver in the mouth.
Amalgam fillings are can withstand years of pressure, biting and chewing. On average, these fillings last over 10 years. However, many individuals opt for less noticeable filling materials. Additionally, some individuals have sensitivity to the various metals used in amalgam fillings.
Composite resin has become one of the most popular materials for dental fillings due to its natural, toothlike appearance. It’s also easier to apply to the tooth and requires less tooth preparation than other filling materials. Unfortunately, composite resin doesn’t last as long as amalgam. A composite resin filling generally lasts around 5-8 years–roughly half the lifespan of amalgam.
Other Filling Materials
Gold is another good choice for dental fillings. It is durable and can withstand the pressure and friction that chewing and biting can create. Gold also lasts a long time–up to 15 years.
The cons of gold are similar to those of amalgam. Many people don’t like the visual appearance of gold fillings in the mouth. For others, gold creates a sensitivity in the tooth that is uncomfortable.
Gold also takes longer to apply to the tooth due to the nature of the material.
Porcelain is good for fillings that need to be tooth-colored, such as fillings in the front teeth. Porcelain is durable and resistant to staining (it’s the best option for veneers).
The biggest drawback to porcelain fillings is the investment of time. Porcelain fillings require two dental appointments to create and apply to the teeth. Porcelain is also expensive.
Glass ionomers are a tooth-colored filling material comprised of acrylic and glass. These materials release fluoride, helping suppress further tooth decay. However, glass ionomer is less durable than even composite resin and may need to be replaced after 5 years.
What Should You Expect From Your Dental Filling Appointment?
Do you have an issue with a cavity or tooth decay? It’s important to talk to your doctor about your options for dental fillings.
During your appointment, your dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth. He or she will then remove the decay from your tooth using a drill. Once the decay has been cleared, the filling material will be added to the space left in the tooth.
Increased sensitivity is a normal occurrence following a filling. The sensitivity will fade after a few days or weeks.
If you’re concerned about a cavity or tooth decay, it’s important to visit a dentist immediately. If you don’t, the decay could wear away more and more of your tooth–until the tooth root is exposed. Not only does an exposed tooth root cause significant pain, it could necessitate a tooth extraction.
Gateway Family Dentistry is proud to offer our patients effective strategies for cavity prevention and treatment.
Contact Gateway Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro to schedule your dental examination today.