Dentists use different types of dental fillings nowadays to restore a patient’s dental function. The filling material that they use includes gold, porcelain, plastic materials, resin fillings, and silver amalgam. Later we are going to determine the safest dental fillings and the pros and cons of each of them. All of these are considered to be safe and effective but a dentist that focuses on your dental concerns will know which one suits you best.
Process of Filling A Tooth
After your dentist figures out the kind of tooth filling that’s perfect for you, you will undergo a step-by-step dental procedure. Initially, you will receive an anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Once the anesthesia kicks in, they will use various dental tools and drill the decayed area and remove it. The dentist will double-check if the decayed parts are thoroughly removed, after which, the open space where the fillings will be placed will be prepared by removing the cavity filled with bacteria and debris.
Depending on your preference and recommendation of your dentist, the dental filling will be placed into the tooth. It will also be polished before the procedure ends.
Comparing Dental Fillings
It’s a good thing that we can now choose from a variety of dental fillings. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. Most of the time, dentists will recommend the best kind of fillings depending on the condition of the patient’s tooth. Other factors may also be considered in choosing the filling material for your teeth such as insurance coverage, cost, the severity of the decay, and its location.
To avoid dental health problems, fillings are placed into the teeth to prevent tooth decay and retain its functions.
According to www.dentalex.com.au here is a list of the different filling materials and the conditions that can be best used for.
- Gold fillings. This filling material has plenty of advantages. It’s mostly recommended by dentists because it lasts for 10 to 15 years and it does not corrode. Another thing that makes it stand out is that it can withstand the force made by chewing. In comparison to silver amalgam, gold fillings are more aesthetic.
On the contrary, gold fillings are way more expensive than other dental fillings, it typically cost ten times higher than silver and requires multiple office visits afterward. If you have existing silver fillings, adding a gold amalgam may not be recommended as the two metals can cause a galvanic shock when placed next to each other. Some patients do not prefer gold because of its color that stands out too much.
- Silver fillings. Just like gold, silver fillings are durable and can last for more than 15 years. It is also strong enough to withstand chewing forces. Additionally, it’s cheaper and does not require high maintenance procedures.
Disadvantages of silver amalgam include unpleasant appearance due to its color, discoloration of nearby teeth, and destruction of a large part of the teeth to give way to the metal. Lastly, it has the tendency to cause allergic reactions because of the mercury that’s present in silver. Unfortunately, some people claim that mercury can cause health problems as being exposed to it can ultimately affect the brain and lungs.
- Composites. One of the best things about composites is that it can be matched to the exact color of the patient’s teeth making look natural. This is often used on visible parts of the teeth as the front area. It can also provide support to the teeth as it is micro-mechanically bonded to the tooth. Apart from its use as a dental filling, composites are also used to fix broken, chipped, and worn teeth. Compared with gold and silver fillings, composite does not require the destruction of parts of the teeth.
Sadly, just like all dental fillings, composites have their drawbacks as well. First of all, it is not as durable and as strong as amalgams, in fact, it is known to last for 5 years only. The procedure time is longer because of the delicate process of placing it into the tooth. Depending on the dental problem, it might also require several dental visits. The location of the fillings also adds up to the fact that it can cause tooth chipping.
Other Types of Fillings
Technically, all dental fillings are safe to use. It’s only a matter of choosing the right material to make sure that no dental health problems will arise following the placement of the fillings. Other dental fillings are:
- Ceramic. This is one of the fillings that can provide a natural look without compromising its quality. Ceramic fillings are as expensive as gold amalgams and can also last for 15 years.
- Glass ionomer. This dental filling is commonly used in children and young patients. Typically, it’s placed below the gums to help protect the tooth from decay. Very few people prefer this material as it’s not as durable as others and it has the tendency to be fractured.
The safety of your dental structure depends on how you take care of your fillings and the expertise of your dentist. Be sure to always consider the recommendations of your doctor as they know which filling material is most suitable for you.