Dental Fillings: What to Expect, the Different Types and Why You Need Them
If you have ever visited a dentist most probably, it’s about cavities. Treating cavities is one of the necessary parts of dental care. Tooth decay is one of the most frequently treated health problems. Tooth decay can be caused by various factors, including bacteria, taking sugary drinks, and not having good oral health.
Irrespective of the causes, cavities or caries can be very painful, especially when there is pulp damage. This juncture is where fillings come in handy. Disregard the myths about fillings that they are painful or not pleasant. It is best if you knew more about dental fillings.
What are Fillings and What Do They Do?
When you have caries, holes develop on the hard outer surface of your teeth. In the cavity, some bacteria can continue to cause harm. If you do not get it treated promptly, the damage can spread and ultimately damage your tooth.
Our dentist will then clean the area and “fill” the hole with a filling material that restores the tooth to its normal shape and function. This is what is known as a dental filling. The filling can be made from composite resin, porcelain, gold, and amalgams (alloys of silver, mercury, or copper).
What to Expect
Our dentist will numb the damaged tooth with a local anesthetic. The anesthetic numbs the whole area surrounding the tooth, which includes the jaw and gums. Immediately our dentist ascertains that the anesthesia has kicked in; he will drill to remove the cavities.
After the tooth has been cleaned, the filling will be placed. The method and the type of filling will depend on the filling that you want.
Types of Fillings
It is important to note that there are some factors that you and our dentist will have to consider before you get the filling. You need to know the cost if you have allergies to the material used or the position of the filling in the mouth.
Here are the five different types of fillings:
- Porcelain Fillings
Porcelain or ceramic fillings are aesthetically beautiful and durable. In terms of cost, they are a bit more expensive than most fillings. They are tooth-colored fillings and can resist staining. One problem is that its brittle and it has to be larger to help prevent it from breaking.
- Gold Fillings
These are the most expensive but durable fillings that can last over 20 years. The gum tissues tolerate the gold inlays well. You might need to make more than one visit to get the filling done.
- Composite Fillings
They are made from plastic material and resin. The filling is placed when it’s soft into the cavity, then hardened under a blue curing light. Many people go for this choice because it matches the color of your teeth. But, they are not durable and will need replacing after five years or so.
- Glass Ionomer Fillings
They are made from glass and acrylic. They are suitable for children because their teeth are still changing. The teeth are protected from further decay because of the fluoride that is released by the fillings. These fillings are also not that durable.
- Amalgam (silver) Fillings
These fillings are durable and quite pocket-friendly. This is the most common filling currently in the market. On average, this filling lasts over 12 years. Aesthetically, they are not that beautiful, so they aren’t the best choice for front teeth.
Why Do You Need Them?
Caries destroy parts of teeth and leaves the sensitive inner parts of the teeth exposed. The parts that can be exposed are the inner nerves. The hole becomes a breeding place for bacteria, which continues to destroy the tooth’s structural integrity.
If our dentist only removes caries and leaves the hole uncovered, this still presents problems for your tooth. When the tooth is filled, it regains its normal function. The fillings also act as a barrier and protect the tooth from further damage from the bacteria.
They are also essential in protecting the tooth from cracking or breaking. Minor cavities can pose severe issues to the integrity and health of your teeth.
If you need dental fillings, contact Dr. David Staples and book an appointment.