In dentistry, there is no one-fits-all dental solution or treatment. Usually, a dental exam by your dentist in Fanwood, NJ, will determine what kind of treatment would best befit your underlying oral issue.
When treating dental decay, dental fillings are highly relied on to restore teeth. Modern dentistry has a provision for different alternatives in tooth filling material, providing options for patients to choose from, based on their personal preferences.
What Are Dental Fillings?
They are oral materials used in dentistry to fill damaged teeth, repairing and restoring them. Dental fillings are commonly used to treat teeth with cavities and moderate dental decay. However, in some cases, tooth fillings have been used to repair and restore cracked and broken teeth.
Understanding the Tooth Filling Procedure
To place a filling on your damaged tooth, a dentist will proceed with the following steps:
- Numbing and sedation – there can be sensitivity and discomfort on your damaged tooth during the procedure of installing a filling. Therefore, local anesthesia is used to numb your mouth, while another sedative medicine is used to keep you in a relaxed and calm state. For some patients, however, a dentist can proceed with the treatment without sedation.
- Removing the damaged part of the tooth – the dentist uses lasers or a special dental drill to remove all parts of your tooth that are damaged. Afterward, a gel-like substance will further clean the area in preparation for the filling.
- The filling material is applied to the prepared tooth. If fills the hole drilled when cleaning the tooth, restoring the structure thereof.
- Crowning – in some cases, a dentist may install a dental crown over the filling to support the tooth’s structure. This is especially the case if the dental filling is too large for the size of the tooth remaining after drilling.
Types of Dental Fillings in Dentistry
When you get fillings, the type you get largely depends on the underlying desires you have for your oral health. For some patients, the only goal is to treat their diseased tooth and not have to worry about it for several years to come. For others, however, there is a particular interest in the cosmetic appearance of their teeth after a tooth-filling treatment. This is why there are different types of tooth fillings:
- Gold tooth fillings – they have been used a lot over the years, praised for their sense of luxury. They feature gold as the main material in the making thereof. The gold fillings provide for a sturdy tooth filling, explaining why they are relied on mostly for treating molars and premolars. One of the downsides some patients may need to consider is the high price, thanks to the material in use.
- Silver fillings – they are also known as amalgams, featuring the most popular dental fillings in dentistry. They are made with silver as the main component in the metal alloy, with other metals including copper, zinc, and mercury. They are strong enough for use in back teeth treatment. Besides, they are far much inexpensive compared to gold fillings. However, the appearance of silver fillings is not necessarily pleasing to the eyes, which might be a letdown for cosmetic-sensitive patients.
- Composite tooth filling – they are quickly gaining popularity in dentistry, particularly cosmetic dentistry. They feature composite material, a tooth-colored resin that is relied on to make many oral appliances in dentistry. Composite fillings are great for cosmetic dentistry as they can be color-matched to the shade of natural teeth, realizing a beautiful smile. However, they are more costly than silver amalgams and are not as strong and durable. This is why they are mostly used for front teeth treatment.
- Ceramic fillings – they feature porcelain material, which rivals composite fillings. Ceramic fillings are also tooth-colored, providing for the cosmetic needs of patients. Besides that, they are sturdier than composites, making them usable for treating the back teeth too.
- Glass ionomer fillings – they are types of fillings commonly used in pediatric dentistry. They feature acrylic, which gives them a transparent color. However, because of the material used to make them, glass ionomer fillings are not as sturdy as the other types of fillings, which is why they do not last for very long.