What is a Filling?
A dental filling a method of restoring a tooth or teeth damaged by decay; a cavity. And allowing the previously damaged tooth to return to its normal function and shape.
Prior to applying the filling, we will clean out the tooth. Removing any decayed tooth matter, and clean out the cavity. Then the empty tooth cavity can be filled by the filler material. Closing off the cavity of the tooth with a filling prevents bacteria from entering the space as well as preventing any further damage and/or decay.
Types of Fillings
Dental Fillings are made up any number of materials. The most commonly used materials for fillings are:
- Silver Amalgam Fillings: These fillings are durable and don’t wear easily. They are also inexpensive compared to gold fillings. However, because of the contrast between the color and their shine, they are very visible against porcelain dental implants as well as normal teeth. Therefore, most patients only prefer them for less visible back teeth.
- Composite Plastic Resins: These fillings match the color of your teeth, therefore provide the most natural looking appearance. Composite plastic materials are mixed directly within the cavity and harden in place. Despite the natural appearance, composites may not be the best choice for larger cavities as they chip and wear over time, and also stain easily with coffee or food.
- Porcelain Fillings: These are called inlays or onlays and are created customized in a lab to the patient’s specific corrective needs and size. They also match the color of your natural teeth well, and are able to resist staining. It also covers most of the tooth, however the cost is similar to that of gold fillings.
Not all fillings work for everyone. Depending on your specific corrective needs, the extent of damage or decay, any allergies you might have, the cost, and the place of the cavity we will help you determine the correct filling for you.
When You Need a Filling
If you feel any pain or discomfort in your mouth, gums, or at a tooth, it is best to schedule a checkup. During this appointment we will examine your teeth and their health, if a cavity is present or any decay of your teeth we will recommend a dental filling.