Treating cavities is a routine part of your dental and oral care. While the number of people who have cavities and need fillings has significantly decreased over the years, they still happen to some individuals.
If you belong to this group of people, who still suffer from cavities, then you may want to know what your options are. Good thing, though, that, with the help of science and technology, you can now choose from various alternatives to traditional dental fillings.
Filling Cavities: What Should You Expect
A cavity is specifically the area of decay in a tooth. When you do not attend to it as much as possible, this may lead to serious and more harmful situations. This is why it is always best for every individual to visit North York Smile Centre dental clinic and dentist for regular check-ups.
When a cavity is discovered, your dentist will recommend fillings. The main processes involved will begin with cleaning the affected tooth.
Once cleaned, it will leave a hole or an empty space within the tooth, and to prevent further damage, dentists will fill it with the appropriate and ideal filling to protect it.
Fillings vary depending on the main materials and complexity. Some experts may do a direct filling, wherein the dentist will place the filling directly in a cavity. On the other hand, indirect fillings are also available wherein an impression of the tooth in question is taken and a customized filling will be created to fit around it. But, either way, fillings for cavities are effective treatments to improve your overall dental and oral health.
What Are Your Dental Filling Options
Generally, there are five options that you may choose from for your dental filling:
• Composite Resins
Composite resin fillings are best suited for teeth that face moderate pressure when chewing. So, this is not the best choice for any type of teeth. Nevertheless, it offers many advantages, especially for small holes and spaces.
This type of filling offers a natural tooth-color material, thanks to the mixture of glass or quartz filler. However, it is not as durable as the other type of fillings, making it suitable only for either front or back teeth.
• Gold Fillings
Gold fillings are another popular option for this treatment. In fact, the element has been utilized in the world of dentistry for more than a thousand years.
The main advantage of this filling lies in gold’s durability. It features an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals, as well. They are typically called inlays or onlays, and many people resort to this type because of its advantages.
The main disadvantages of this dental filling, however, rest in its overall cost and appearance. It is quite expensive because it is gold, and it is not natural-looking unlike other types of fillings.
• Dental Amalgam
Amalgam is considered the classic option for dental filling. Dentists and dental experts have been utilizing this type for more than 150 years now.
It features a mixture of various metals, including mercury, tin, silver, copper, and/or zinc. What makes this feeling quite popular is its inexpensiveness and longevity. As it happens, it can last much longer than many of the other filling types and it does not cost much.
However, this does not mean that amalgam fillings do not have any drawbacks. As explained, they are silver in color in the beginning. But, as time passes by, they tend to become darker, and even close to blackening. Also, there are talks and debates about the usage of mercury because as everyone knows, mercury is highly toxic. Even so, the amount of mercury in the mixture is said to be safe.
Porcelain fillings are quite similar to gold fillings. They are an indirect type process, and may require more than one visit to your dentist’s clinic.
Also, they are quite pricey, at times even surpassing the gold fillings’ overall cost.
But, with this kind of filling, you are getting what you are paying for because of its features and benefits. As explained, porcelain fillings look like actual teeth. So, despite having a dental filling, no one would notice.
However, they are more fragile than gold, and in most cases, they require full restoration of the tooth, making it quite expensive.
• Glass Ionomer
Glass Ionomers are special types of dental fillings. They are made of acrylic and other glass materials.
In most cases, dentists recommend this filling for young children. Also, this type is ideal for cavities below the gum line.
The great advantage of this type is that it releases fluoride, which is essential in the health of your mouth and teeth. It protects the tooth or teeth in question from further damage and decay.
However, the materials in this filling are much weaker than composite resins. Hence, it does not last that long as it is more susceptible to wear and even prone to fracture.
Glass ionomers usually last five years or less. Although there are already alternatives of the same type that can last much longer, they do not compare to the overall longevity of the other filling types.
The bottom line is that you have several options when you intend to have a dental filling due to a cavity. But, each of these types has its own pros and drawbacks. So, it is always best to consult first with your dentist as they know which one will be the ideal filling for your condition.
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