Bacteria and plaque will cause damage and decay to your teeth over time. If not treated, it can cause gum disease, bad breath, and other serious health concerns. This decay is called a cavity, and your dentist will be able to treat it with one of many types of dental fillings. These different types of fillings are also used to fixed cracked or broken teeth that have been damaged over time.
At first the tooth is numbed, and the dentist will drill down to remove any appearance of decay. The resulting cavity is left open, and will soon be filled. The different types of dental fillings are the solutions for different situations. For instance, there are two different kinds of indirect fillings. One type, inlays, consist of dental work within the surface of the tooth. However, the other kind, onlays, covers more than just the surface. They involve more detailed work, and are sometimes considered partial crowns.
Several dental offices give you the option of cast gold fillings. They are quite pricey, but they are also long lasting and strong. In many cases, they will protect a tooth for 15 years or more. Gold is a good material because of its strength, which allows it to withstand the wear and tear of chewing. Some people even like the look of gold better than the silver colored fillings. Nonetheless, youll want to remember that this type of filling is expensive, and can take multiple dental visits to complete. Silver is also often used due to its strength and longevity. The downside, however, is it doesnt match the natural color of your teeth. Sometimes, a small number of people can have an allergic reaction to silver and gold.
At this time, dentists use composites most often to fill cavities, typically because they look more natural. Composite material also bonds very nicely to the tooth for long lasting use. Your dentist can also use composites to repair cracked or broken teeth. There are dentists that dont feel the composite material has the durability of other types of dental fillings because they can be prone to chipping.
Ceramic is another popular filling material often used by dentists. It tends to be more stain-resistant, and is the longest lasting material used today. Its important to remember, however, that ceramic fillings can cost almost as much as gold and insurance doesnt always pay for it as well. If your cavity shows up below the gum line, your dentist might recommend glass or acrylic. This type of filling is also ideal for children, because it releases fluoride into their still developing tooth. The downside to acrylic is that it typically only lasts around 5 years, and it will need to be replaced sooner as opposed to later.
Talk to your dentist about the options available to you. Your dentist may not provide all of these filling options, and some may not even be the best solution for you. It is wise to pick the most practical and natural looking filling, so that your smile will stay healthy and beautiful.
Your local dentist can apply composite fillings to fix any dental cavity that you have.