Despite the many advances in dental care, tooth decay is still a problem many people face. If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain, lead to a tooth infection and tooth loss. Dental fillings are a great way to restore damaged teeth, prevent further tooth decay and restore the functionality of teeth.
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are artificial substances used to fill in gaps and holes on damaged teeth. Dentists use them to restore the functionality, integrity and appearance of missing tooth structure due to tooth decay. Fillings are also used to repair broken, cracked and worn-out teeth.
How do you choose the right filling from all the different types available for dental restoration? This article helps you get a better understanding of your options.
Types of Dental Fillings
1. Amalgam Fillings
For many years, amalgam fillings were the most widely used. They are made from a mixture of silver, mercury, tin and copper. Silver fillings were once the best choice for people looking for a durable, long-lasting and affordable option. Their strength made them ideal for cavities at the back of the mouth, where a lot of chewing occurs. However, they are not aesthetically pleasing, require the removal of significant tooth structure and can cause fractures and cracks on the tooth since they expand and contract with temperature change.
2. Composite Fillings
Composite fillings are made from a combination of quartz in resin or glass. They are popular among patients because they can easily be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. Composites are ideal if the cavity is small-to-mid-sized or if the affected tooth is used regularly for chewing. They are aesthetically pleasing, versatile, require less drilling and bond well to the tooth structure. However, they do eventually wear down and may develop staining over time.
3. Gold Fillings
Gold fillings are strong, non-corrosive and durable, lasting up to 15 years with proper care. However, they are more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, are not aesthetically pleasing and require more than one dental visit to be fitted. Some people find gold fillings more pleasing to the eye than silver fillings.
4. Porcelain/Ceramic Fillings
Made using a porcelain material, these fillings are cosmetically pleasing as they look like natural teeth. They are also durable and more resistant to staining and abrasion than composites. The drawback of using porcelain is that it is more brittle and has to be used on large cavities to prevent breakage. They are also more expensive, costing as much as gold fillings.
5. Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass ionomer fillings are made using acrylic and specific glass materials. This is ideal for fixing small areas of decay, below the gum line, teeth in young children and teeth that aren’t subject to extreme pressure and chewing. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which may help protect the tooth from further decay. However, they are weaker, more prone to fracture and more susceptible to wear than composite fillings. They are also less durable, lasting five years or less.
Factors such as the severity of the decay, cavity location, personal preference, cost and insurance coverage will affect your choice of filling. Your dentist will help you determine which material is best suited for you, considering your dental health and budget.
Are You Looking for a Dental Clinic in Surrey?
If you need tooth fillings in Surrey, contact us at Newton Village Dental Clinic.
Our dentist understands that you deserve the best dental care and will work with you to provide the solution that meets your dental needs.