Dental fillings, also known as composite filings, are used to treat a decayed tooth. This is done through a series of steps that start with the removal of the decayed parts of the tooth, then cleaning the damaged area. The final step is filling the area with a filling material suitable for the tooth. A dental filling is very important in order to prevent further decay in the tooth. The materials that will be used will depend on each person, as there is no best dental filling for everyone. As Dr. Sid K. Steadman D.D.S. advises on his website, it would be best to talk with your dentist about the most suitable choice for your dental filling to avoid complications and additional damages to your teeth.
There are factors that your dentist should first take into account before filling the tooth. The location of where the dental filling will be put, certain allergies to materials used, the size of the damage, and the cost of the dental filling. There are a number of choices for dental fillings, namely:
- Amalgam Fillings – a mixture of silver fillings, they are relatively low-cost and are comparatively resistant to wear. Although they are very durable, they are not as popular because of their dark color which makes them obvious.
- Porcelain Fillings – also called inlays or outlays, porcelain fillings are custom-made in a lab to be bonded to the tooth. They are custom-made to match the color of the tooth and avoid staining, and can be a more costly option because they cover most of the tooth.
- Gold Fillings – a costly dental filling, they are made-to-order in the lab to fit the tooth that they will be cemented into. Because they are well-tolerated by gum tissues, many experts recommend and consider gold as the best dental options. Although they are the most costly of the dental fillings, they can last for 20 years.
- Composite Resins – plastic resins made to match the color of the tooth. It is mixed and applied directly into the tooth where it will harden. They can be cheaper, but are not a good option for large fillings because of their tendency to chip and wear. They are also prone to staining and are not as durable as others mentioned above.
Your dentist will be the one to determine whether you need a dental filing or not, through thorough checkups. They will also advice you on how to properly take care of your dental filling, and prevent future cavities from destroying your teeth. Possible suggestions from your dentist may include healthier eating habits and food choices, practice of proper dental care, and regular dental checkups.