Dental fillings replace areas of teeth that are broken or have decay. A filling reshapes a tooth and restores it to proper function. There are several types of dental filling materials that you may be offered when you need a tooth repaired:
A composite filling is the most common type of dental filling. You may have heard them referred to as composites or resins. This type of filling uses a variety of resins to form the new part of the tooth. A composite filling is an ideal choice due to its strength and the fact it can be customized to match your other teeth. The resin material is semi-solid when it is first placed in your mouth. Once the dentist has shaped and manipulated the resin into place, they will use a curing light to solidify the resin and create a harder tooth.
Silver amalgam fillings were the main type of filling used until composite fillings became available. A variety of metals are used to compose amalgam fillings, including silver, mercury, copper, and tin. Silver amalgam fillings are still used today and are a good choice for those who want an extra-durable filling.
A ceramic filling is another choice to reconstruct a decayed or damaged tooth. Ceramic fillings last a long time and are also fully customizable to your other teeth. The filling is made from porcelain, making the filing resistant to abrasion and stains. The downside to ceramic fillings is the cost, as they can be a more expensive filling option.
Glass Ionomer Material
Glass ionomer fillings are made from acrylic material. These fillings are best for small cavities and are often used in decayed baby teeth in children. The fillings are not long-lasting, but they are useful in preventing more decay. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride into the tooth to help keep the rest of the tooth strong.
Gold is another filing option to consider. Gold fillings are long-lasting and do not corrode. In addition to gold, the filings also contain additional metals including copper. Gold fillings are the most expensive filling option since gold is a precious metal.
If you are in need of dental fillings, carefully consider which type is best for you. As you make your decision, also think about your insurance plan and which fillings it will cover. Most plans will not pay for gold fillings, for example, as they can be considered elective or for cosmetic use.
For more information, contact a dental facility in your area, such as Dental Care Associates.