Different Types of Dental Fillings?
The different types of dental fillings are used to treat a cavity. The certified dentist will remove your tooth's decayed parts and then fill it with a dental filling. Additionally, they use different types of dental fillings to restore broken, weakened, worn, or cracked teeth.
Dental fillings seal and restore tooth structure and prevent bacteria from entering. People can have good oral hygiene, but the dreaded cavities can still appear. The good thing is that they are easy to treat.
Different types of dental fillings are made of different materials in the market. Below you can find more information about fillings and their different types so you can make the best decision.
What Is A Dental Filling?
Dental fillings are used to repair or restore teeth. When you have a cavity, the dentist will remove all the decayed dental tissue and then fill the hole or cavity with a different types of dental fillings material.
As previously mentioned, dental fillings are also used to repair teeth that are cracked, all or teeth worn down from teeth grinding or jaw clenching. These fillings are necessary to shape the tooth and prevent new cavities.
What Are Dental Fillings Made of?
Currently, several materials are used as dental fillings. Your dentist can fill holes in your teeth with porcelain, gold, or silver amalgam (containing mercury mixed with silver, tin, copper, and zinc) or tooth-colored plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings.
To determine which types of dental fillings are right for you, you should talk to your dentist to determine the location, extent of decay, cost of each filling, etc. From this information, you will know which dental filling is best suited to your dental case.
The 5 most common types of dental fillings for teeth are:
Amalgam Filling (Silver Filling)
Silver (amalgam) fillings are made of different materials, such as mercury, tin, silver, copper, and zinc. When this filling is placed on the tooth, it has a silver appearance, which for many people, affects the aesthetics of the tooth.
Previously they were widely used. Today, they use dental fillings made of other materials that do not affect the tooth's appearance and look more natural. The silver filling lasts 10 to 15 years and is cheaper than other dental fillings.
In addition, it is stronger and can withstand the force of chewing. One of the disadvantages of the silver dental filling is that it sometimes requires further destruction of the tooth structure to make more space to contain the silver filling.
Gold fillings are made primarily of gold and may contain a combination of other materials. These fillings are usually 75% gold; the other 25% may contain silver and other minor metals. They are durable fillings, lasting between 10 and 15 years since gold does not corrode, but they tend to be more expensive.
The gold filling can also withstand the forces of chewing and often has a pleasing appearance to the eye.
Porcelain or ceramic dental fillings are made of a high-quality ceramic material that can last more than 15 years with proper maintenance. It is not as strong as amalgam and gold fillings but blends perfectly into the tooth.
Such fillings are more stain resistant compared to composite resin material. They are often as expensive as gold fillings and can give your teeth a more natural appearance.
Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings
In the teeth filling process, there are also tooth-colored composite fillings. They are called composite or direct fillings made of tooth-colored adhesive-like material.
This filling is applied directly to the tooth, and the shade can match the color of your natural teeth. In addition to being used as a filling material for cavities, tooth-colored composite fillings are used to repair worn, broken, or chipped teeth.
Currently, this is one of the most common fillings recommended by dentists. It can last 5 years, but it can also come off the tooth more easily, depending on the location of the filling.
Another types of dental fillings is glass ionomer. It is a filler material made of acrylic and specific glass material. This material is used primarily for fillings below the gum line.
These fillings are weaker than composite resin fillings and can crack or wear away more easily. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which can help protect your teeth from further decay.
They usually last 5 years or less and cost about the same as composite resin fillings.
Can You Get Cavities Filled While Pregnant?
As you can see, there are different types of dental fillings, and during pregnancy, you can treat cavities with complete peace of mind. Pregnant women may be at higher risk of cavities due to increased acidity in the mouth, morning sickness, cravings for sweets, etc.
If you have a cavity, you only need to visit a local certified dentist who will treat your cavity safely and efficiently. According to the American Dental Association and the American College of Obstetricians, filling a hole with types of dental fillings during pregnancy is completely safe.
But it is important to note that the amalgam or silver filling may contain mercury, which may pose a small risk to the baby. In this case, it is important to talk to your dentist to determine the best filling for teeth during pregnancy.
The types of dental fillings are a solution to fill and treat cavities. They fill holes and gaps in the tooth structure to prevent bacteria from entering that can cause new cavities.
If you want to find the best dental filling, you must consult a dentist and be able to determine the right filling for your needs and budget. The dentist will be in charge of carrying out a complete evaluation, and depending on the conditions of your tooth, the caries' location will indicate the types of dental fillings you can use in your case.
Dentists have experienced specialists who can advise and assist you in treating your cavities, restoring your tooth with the appropriate types of dental fillings, and guiding you on dental cleaning and polishing.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Which type of dental filling is the best?
The choice of dental filling depends on various factors, including the extent of decay, the location of the tooth, your oral health, aesthetic preferences, and budget. Your dentist will consider these factors and recommend the most suitable filling material for your case.
2. Are tooth-colored fillings as durable as silver amalgam fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings, such as composite and ceramic, have significantly improved durability. While silver amalgam fillings are known for their longevity, tooth-colored fillings can also last long with proper care. Composite fillings typically last around 5 to 10 years, while ceramic fillings can last longer. It's important to follow good oral hygiene practices and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups to maintain the longevity of any dental filling.
3. Do dental fillings require special care?
Dental fillings, regardless of the type, require regular oral care. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for routine check-ups and professional cleanings. Avoiding excessive force while biting and chewing hard objects can help prevent damage to the fillings.
4. Can old amalgam fillings be replaced with tooth-colored fillings?
Yes, it is possible to replace old amalgam fillings with tooth-colored fillings. Many people choose to replace their amalgam fillings for aesthetic reasons or concerns about the presence of mercury in the amalgam material. However, it's important to consult with your dentist to evaluate the condition of the existing fillings and determine the best course of action based on your individual needs.