Changes in tooth morphology and functionality can be caused by dental caries, erosion, bruxism, and/or trauma. Cavities that extend to the pulp of the tooth can cause an increase in tooth sensitivity. With this, pain becomes a presenting complaint. The pain increases as the cavity grows. Dental fillings are the addition of artificial substances to the teeth to fill holes and cracks caused by dental caries, erosion, trauma, or any other causative factors. Peninsula Family Dental Center carries out filling procedures for children and adults.
Materials Used for Dental Fillings
There are different types of fillings based on the material used. The various types include gold fillings, ceramic or porcelain fillings, glass ionomer fillings, silver amalgam fillings, plastic fillings, and composite resin, also known as tooth-colored, fillings. The type of filling used for you depends on the degree and location of decay, our dental professional's recommendation, any allergies to filling materials, and the cost of the filling material.
Gold fillings are made of gold particles and are the most durable of all fillings. They do not blend in with the color of the teeth, and they are expensive. A silver amalgam is made of a material that is made up of mercury mixed with silver, zinc, tin, and copper. It is also very durable and lasts for a long time. It is usually used for the back teeth since its color differs from that of the natural teeth. Although there are speculations about the safety of mercury, the American Dental Association still supports the use of silver amalgam fillings. Composite resin fillings contain glass and plastic components. They are not as strong as a silver amalgam filling, but they match the color of the teeth so they can be used for parts of the teeth visible when smiling or talking.
Additionally, they bond to the tooth structure easily. Glass ionomer fillings are another strong filling material usually used for large decay, especially decay below the gumline. They are made up of fine glass particles and are highly suitable for baby teeth. Ceramic or porcelain fillings are expensive and breakable but are impervious to staining. They are recommended for teeth with large cavities, and they are usually cemented in place.
How Is a Dental Filling Placed?
After you are comfortably seated in a dental chair, a local anesthetic is administered to numb the teeth, gums, and surrounding tissue. Next, a dental laser may be used to remove the decayed part or parts of the tooth. The area is sterilized with an acid gel, and the filling material is added to the area. Adhesives and composite materials are added next to seal it. Finally, the tooth is polished to enhance its appearance.
Some filling procedures can be completed by our dental professional in one visit. They include silver amalgam fillings, resin composite fillings, and glass ionomer fillings. However, others require two or more visits, including indirect fillings. These include gold fillings or ceramic fillings.
Dental fillings help restore the normal shape, size, and function of the teeth. They also protect the teeth from further decay caused by exposure to bacteria and food debris. They protect the inner tooth from further decay. To schedule a dental filling appointment with us, Peninsula Family Dental Center, please call (907) 283-9125.