What are Dental Fillings?
Fillings, much like the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth caused by decay. (Cavity) This prevents the decay from spreading further into your tooth and, if untreated, continue to the nerve tissue located in the root of the tooth. Should that happen, you would require a root canal.
When is a Filling Required?
When sugars from the food you eat are not cleaned away, plague can form. When plague remains on your teeth acid is then produced, which can eat away at your teeth, making little holes. This process is called tooth decay. Watch the video to learn more about why you might require fillings for tooth decay.
There are two categories of fillings: metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings. Each may offer particular advantages and disadvantages in certain situations.
- Metal Dental Fillings
- Amalgam — The silver looking filling, actually an alloy made up of mercury, silver, tin, and copper, which has been in use for more than a century, These fillings are strong and inexpensive, but are pretty noticeable. They also require relatively more tooth prep than other types.
- Cast Gold — Among the most expensive restorative dental materials, cast gold combines gold with other metals for a very strong, long-lasting filling. It is also highly noticeable, which can be considered a plus or minus.
- Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
- Composite — A popular choice for those who don’t want their fillings to show, composite is a mixture of plastic and glass, which actually bonds to the rest of the tooth. Composites are more expensive than amalgam fillings, and the newer materials can hold up almost as long. Less drilling of the tooth is necessary when placing composite as compared to amalgam.
- Porcelain — These high-tech dental ceramics are strong, lifelike, and don’t stain as composites can. They are sometimes more expensive than composites because they may require the use of a dental laboratory or specialized computer-generated technology. While considered the most aesthetic filling, they can also, because of their relatively high glass content, be brittle.
- Glass Ionomer — Made of acrylic and glass powders, these inexpensive, translucent fillings have the advantages of blending in pretty well with natural tooth color and releasing small amounts of fluoride to help prevent decay. They generally don’t last as long as other restorative materials
Curious About Cost?
We understand. This stuff sounds awesome… but what are the prices? We offer free consultations to answer this exact question because we know that every circumstance is different. Investing in your oral health will dramatically improve your physical and emotional well-being.