Do you have dental cavities? Even if you don’t, then the chances are that someone you know does! After all, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention research revealed that one in four adults has untreated dental cavities.
If you or someone you know has it, make sure to get it treated quickly. Good dental hygiene and timely action ensure that your teeth-related issue does not become severe and painful. If you are experiencing severe pain you can check out this popular Emergency dentist in Greenville.
When it comes to treating cavities, one important step in dental care is filling the empty space of the affected tooth with dental fillings. It turns out there are quite a lot of filling materials available, each with its own sets of merits and demerits.
Here are the main types of dental filling material you will come across.
1. Silver Amalgam Fillings
Among all the available dental fillings, silver amalgam is one of the most common ones. Don’t let the name confuse you – the filling is not made entirely out of silver. Instead, it is a mixture of 50 percent mercury and 50 percent minerals, including tin, zinc, copper, and silver.
Many dentists recommend silver amalgam fillings since they are known to be durable and long-lasting. Additionally, they are considerably more affordable than other options.
When it comes to the procedure, silver amalgam is easy to work with, and dentists can easily fit it into a given cavity without the fear of contamination from saliva or blood.
However, there are apparent problems with using this filling material as well. Right off the bat, it stands out a lot from the rest of the teeth, thereby not being visually appealing. So, if your decayed tooth is visible while talking, it is not suggested that you opt for this filling. Moreover, since the material tends to contract or expand over time, it can cause damage to the tooth or can further aggravate the decay.
2. Composite Filling
Compared to silver amalgam fillings that many dentists prefer working with, composite fillings are the favorites of patients since their colors can be easily matched with the teeth of the patient, thereby ensuring the beauty of a patient’s smile.
Composite fillings comprise resin, silica, powdered glass, and quartz, to name a few. They are generally used for front teeth but can also be utilized for back teeth. Composite fillings can help correct chipped or cracked teeth and close the space between two teeth.
Composite fillings get bonded to the structure of the tooth and hence ensure that no bacteria gets trapped in any gaps. While they may not be as durable as silver amalgam, composite fillings can also last a few years before requiring another visit.
Hence, always ensure that you get your composite fillings from a dentist in your area. For starters, let’s say you live in Etobicoke, then dental fillings in Etobicoke will be suitable for you since the dentist would be aware of your dental history.
3. Ceramic Filling
Are you looking for both durability and beauty? If so, you will have to increase your budget a bit. Ceramic fillings offer the best of both worlds at a premium price. However, the fact that they are stain-resistant, as well as tooth-colored, ensures that your smile remains presentable for years to come.
While you would expect everything to be perfect since ceramic fillings are expensive, this is not the case.
Compared to composite fillings, ceramic are brittle. Hence, to prevent breakage, such fillings are made to be larger than ceramic fillings. In other words, you need to have enough room in your mouth to adjust them.
4. Gold Fillings
If you have ever watched the original Home Alone, the one thing you might have remembered of its villain Harry is his gold tooth. You would be surprised to know that gold is an actual material used for dental fillings. However, it is not surprising that such fillings are both expensive and rare.
Not only will you struggle to find a dentist who offers this option to you, but it will also require multiple visits for proper fitting. But, it goes without saying that gold fillings are very durable. They can last for over two decades without corroding and can withstand great chewing force!
If you already have a silver amalgam filling, we would not suggest you get a gold filling right next to it. This may cause a galvanic shock due to the interaction between your saliva and the metals. And while it may look better than silver, it doesn’t exactly look great since it doesn’t match with the rest of the teeth.
5. Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass Ionomer fillings are only suitable for growing children whose teeth are still undergoing changes. Such fillings contain and effectively release fluoride, which helps in preventing further tooth decay.
Glass Ionomers are significantly less durable than other fillings and only last for a few years. They can exhibit cracks very easily. Moreover, their color does not match exactly with other teeth like composite fillings.
The good thing about glass ionomer is that, unlike composite fillings that require tooth enamel for bond formation, the same is not the case with glass ionomer. These fillings form a chemical bond that is much stronger than a composite filling. Hence, they don’t leave much room for bacterial growth.
Hence, if your child is developing cavities that require filling, discuss the possibility of using glass ionomer fillings with your dentist.
Choose one that best meets your aesthetic, budget, and functional needs among the five popular dental fillings. Make sure to maintain your fillings well to avoid getting them fixed repeatedly.
Remember, the best way to maintain the longevity of your teeth is to have good dental hygiene practices. Don’t fall short in this regard since prevention is always better than cure!
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