Types of Dental Fillings

Types of Dental Fillings

August 13, 2021

Dentistry has largely benefited from the use of dental fillings in Forty Fort. They have been used to correct various types of problematic dentition over the years, primarily holes and cavities that develop in the damaged enamel of a tooth. While you may have a dental filling, how much do you know about them?

What are Dental Fillings?

Fillings seal teeth externally to protect the internal structure of the tooth. Dental fillings are made of different materials depending on the patient’s need, preference, and location of the filling.
The damage that a filling is meant to repair must not be too advanced, and the tooth’s structure must not be compromised. A filling is only good to seal a cavity, not necessarily to hold the tooth together.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Fillings?

Fillings come in many forms and are made of various materials. The differences between the types of fillings have their pros and cons. Your dentist will be able to recommend which material is right for you.

  • ​Gold fillings – Gold is a sturdy material that makes incredibly strong dental fillings. However, the gold material is not used alone. An alloy is made from other metals, like platinum. Gold fillings have a long lifespan, as long as 30 years. They are best suited for back teeth because of their strength and ability to withstand the pressure of chewing. The primary thing that may hold you back from these fillings is the cost. The value of gold material makes the cost of these fillings expensive.
  • ​Amalgam or silver fillings – These are by far the most used and popular fillings in dentistry today. Silver fillings are made of a combination of silver and other types of metals. They are fairly affordable compared to other types of fillings but are still great for use on the back teeth. While the affordability of these fillings makes them appealing, their cosmetic appearance is sometimes a drawback, as they tend to remain dark-silver colored. In addition, this type of filling is more likely to contract and expand with temperature changes, which can put a strain on teeth or cause discomfort.​
  • Porcelain or ceramic fillings – More cosmetically appealing than gold or silver fillings, these are made of porcelain or ceramic that can be matched more closely to the natural color of your teeth for a uniform appearance. They are sturdy enough to function in back teeth and attractive enough to be used for front teeth as well.
  • ​Tooth-colored composite fillings – Composite fillings are another cosmetic alternative for dental fillings. They are composed of layers of putty-like materials that are placed over the surface of the tooth, then hardened. Composite fillings are very versatile and can be used to cover up different oral flaws. They are also tooth-colored, making them an appealing option, similar to porcelain fillings. The technique used to apply composite fillings can make them very expensive – the cost can come close to double that of silver fillings.

When Would You Need a Filling?

Dental fillings are not an everyday thing. You only need them when there is an underlying oral problem that can only be fixed by fillings. Some of the most common situations include:

  • Cavities and decayed teeth – The initial process of tooth decay begins with a cavity in the enamel of your teeth. The cavity then becomes the entry point for bacteria and other microorganisms into the inside of a tooth, furthering the decay process. Fillings are used to cover cavities before the decay process escalates into a severe case.
  • Broken teeth – A broken tooth also creates a pathway for bacteria to penetrate inside of a tooth. Breaks can also be covered by dental fillings to restore the tooth.
  • Cosmetic appeal – Composite fillings are often used for cosmetic reasons. They can be plastered on the different surfaces of teeth to cover up flaws. Composites can indeed be used for altering the shape, color, or texture of teeth.

Over the years, dentist in Forty Fort has relied on dental fillings to perform many oral procedures. They are largely used in tooth restoration, as opposed to cosmetic treatments. However, they can also be reliable for cosmetic adjustments.

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