What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “cavity”? If you said “root canal,” you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey showed that many people are terrified of having to undergo a root canal procedure. – Dental Filling Options
However, depending on the severity of your cavity, there may be other dental filling options available to you. This post will explore some of the most common dental filling options and discuss the various situations that call for each option. But first, here’s an overview of dental fillings.
What are Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are materials used to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay. The filling material is applied to the tooth to restore its shape and function. When repairing damaged teeth, the dentist will choose from a variety of available filling materials based on the size and location of the tooth cavity as well as the individual needs of the patient.
Steps Involved in Filling a Tooth Cavity
There are various types of dental fillings available for filling a tooth cavity. However, the general procedure for most routine tooth cavity fillings includes:
- Anesthesia – The area around the tooth will be numbed using local anesthesia.
- Removal of Decay – The next step is to remove the decay from the tooth. This can be done using a drill, laser, or other tools.
- Preparation of the cavity – Once the decay has been removed, the cavity will need to be prepared for the filling. This involves shaping the cavity so that the filling material can adhere properly.
- Filling Material -This step involves selecting the appropriate dental fillings for the patient based on the extent and location of the cavity and the patient’s individual needs.
- Placement of the Filling – The chosen filling material will be placed in the cavity and then hardened using a light or laser.
5 Dental Filling Options
Over the years, mankind has made numerous improvements in dentistry, especially with regard to the treatment of cavities. These improvements have led to the development of various modern dental filling options to suit the ever-changing needs of various patients. Some of these dental filling options include
Though not the shiniest of options, amalgam fillings are quite strong and durable. They are made from a mixture of metals, including mercury, tin, and copper, with silver being the major component of the fillings.
Amalgam fillings are usually used to fill large cavities. They are inexpensive and can last for up to 15 years, which is more than most other dental fillings. Their drawback, however, is that they are usually subject to a wider degree of expansion which can cause the surrounding tooth to crack.
Moreover, because silver doesn’t match the color of the teeth, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other fillings and might not be the go-to choice for most patients. Furthermore, the presence of mercury in the fillings can be deadly to people who are allergic to mercury, making it a less safe option for most people.
Composite resin fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and glass. They are tooth-colored, so they blend in well with your natural teeth. They are also less invasive than amalgam fillings because they require less drilling. However, they are not as durable as amalgam fillings and may need to be replaced more often.
The choice of whether to have a gold filling depends largely on your budget and your taste for discolored metal next to your tooth. Gold fillings are made from gold alloyed with other metals. They are strong and durable but are also quite expensive compared to other filling options.
However, the major advantage of gold fillings is that they can last for up to 15 years without corroding. Plus, their presence in the tooth gives a subtle declaration of affluence, making them a preferred option for most people
If you want a dental filling that looks natural, then ceramic is a good choice. Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. They are more resistant to staining, making them a more durable option.
However, the downside of ceramic fillings is that they’re one of the more expensive options, and they can easily wear the opposing teeth.
Glass ionomer fillings are made from a mixture of acrylic and glass. They are tooth-colored and can easily fit in with the rest of your natural teeth. They are also biocompatible, so they are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
The major advantage of glass ionomer fillings is that they release fluoride, which helps to protect the tooth against further decay. They are also relatively easy to place and can be used on both adults and children. However, they are not as strong or durable as other filling options and might need to be replaced more often.
How do dental professionals pick the right dental fillings for each patient?
Dental professionals will consider many factors when choosing the best type of dental filling for each patient. These factors include the location and size of the cavity, as well as the patient’s personal preference.
Some patients may prefer a certain type of filling because of its appearance. For example, composite resin fillings can be matched to the tooth’s color, making them less visible than other types of fillings. Other patients may prefer a certain type of filling because it is less likely to cause allergies or other reactions.
The dentist will also consider the location and size of the cavity when choosing a filling. For instance, amalgam fillings are often used for cavities that are large or in hard-to-reach places. While composite resin fillings are often used for small cavities or cavities close to the tooth’s surface.
Furthermore, the dental professional will also need to take into account the patient’s medical history when choosing a filling material. For example, patients with allergies may not be able to use amalgam fillings. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding patients should also avoid amalgam fillings due to the presence of mercury in them.
The type of dental filling you choose will ultimately depend on your individual needs and preferences. For example, if you want a durable filling that will last for many years, then amalgam or gold fillings might be the best option for you.
But if you are looking for a more aesthetically pleasing option, then composite resin or ceramic fillings might be a better choice. Regardless of the type of dental filling you choose, consult with your dentist to ensure that it is the best option for you.
However, if you have any further questions regarding dental fillings or your dental health, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our dentists at North Harwood Family Dentistry would be happy to answer any questions you might have.