Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Facts about Tooth Fillings

If tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems faced by most people, fillings are the most common solution. A filling, as the name implies, fills the cavity caused by the decay to return the affected tooth to its natural shape so it can function normally.

The Different Types of Fillings

Although all fillings perform the same function, there are a number of different materials used for them. The decision on what type of filling to use is based on the extent of the repair to be done, allergies to certain materials, where in the mouth the filling is required and the cost. Keeping these factors in mind, the options are:

  • Gold Fillings: This is the most common type of filling. Gold is generally well tolerated by the tissue in the gum and mouth. It is long lasting and with care, a filling can last up to 20 years. The downside is that the high cost of gold and the fact that multiple visits to the dentist are required for making this filling.
  • Amalgam Fillings: These are made of silver and are less expensive that the ones made of gold. They are also wear resistant and are normally long lasting. However, they are dark in color which makes them stand out against the natural teeth and so are normally not used in the front of the mouth where they will be visible. These are commonly used for the back teeth such as the molars where the darkness of the filling will not be seen.
  • Composite Fillings: These are made of a plastic based composite material and can be made to match the color of the other teeth to give the filled tooth a natural appearance. The materials are mixed in the proportion required to get the right hue and placed in the cavity is a liquid form where it hardens. The negative of these fillings is that while they give a natural look, they can become stained by coffee, tea, and smoking and by coming into contact with various other substances. They are also not as long lasting as gold and amalgam fillings and have an average life of between 3 to 10 years. This material is also not suitable for large fillings as it is prone to chipping.
  • Porcelain Fillings: As the name says, these are made of porcelain and are also referred to as inlays or overlays. They are made to order in a laboratory and they are bonded to the tooth in the dentist’s office. The porcelain can be shaded to match the color of the teeth. Unlike composites, porcelain is stain resistant. While these are tough and give a natural took to the tooth, they are expensive and cost about the same as gold fillings.

How It Is Done

The procedure is a common and simple one. The dentist will remove all the decay and then clean the affect area completely after which one of the materials mention here will be used to make the filling.

Do You Need A Filling?

A toothache or other discomfort could be a sign of tooth decay. Your dentist will examine your teeth during a checkup and if any signs of decay are seen, remove it and if required, give you a filling of the correct type. The earlier the problem is detected, the simpler the solution.

No comments:

Post a Comment