5 Important Things to Know About Getting Dental Fillings
What Are Dental Fillings?
They are direct fillings for repairing and restoring damaged and diseased teeth. Dentists in Columbia use dental fillings to replace the damaged part of a tooth’s structure as a way to save the tooth. Ideally, instead of extracting a tooth because of a severe cavity, you can rely on dental fillings near you to restore its health.
Types of Dental Fillings
When you come to our dental offices at Model Dental Clinic to get dental fillings, you should be prepared to pick from a variety of the fillings available. The major categories of dental fillings are metal fillings and non-metal fillings. They are:
- Gold fillings – feature a metal alloy, with gold as the primary component. Since people associated gold with luxury, gold fillings tend to be very expensive. The sturdiness of the material makes them suitable for restoring the back teeth.
- Silver fillings – are the most common types of dental fillings, also known as amalgams. They feature silver as the primary component, among other metal alloys like copper, zinc, and mercury. Silver fillings are sturdy to restore molars and premolars perfectly. Due to their color, silver fillings are unsightly to the eye, making them uncommon for front teeth restorations.
- Composite fillings – are fillings that feature composite resin. The tooth-colored resin is the same material used for dental bonding procedures in cosmetic dentistry. In that case, dentists will recommend composite fillings for front teeth if you prefer an aesthetically-pleasing solution. Besides, the front teeth do not undergo too much pressure regarding chewing and breaking down food into small particles. It means that composite bonding can do better from front teeth than from molars and premolars.
- Porcelain fillings – also called onlay and inlays. They are indirect dental fillings preferred for their cosmetic benefits to a smile. Porcelain is tooth-colored, resulting in a natural-looking result after tooth restoration. Onlays and inlays are perfect when the filling material needed are too big for a standard tooth filling to work. Onlays are alternative to dental crowns, especially in cases where there is no need to trim all tooth enamel when an onlay can get the job done.
- Glass ionomers – feature acrylic, a translucent material for filling teeth, especially in pediatric dentistry. They are also called dental sealants, typically used in preventive dentistry to protect the back teeth from dental cavities.
5 Fast Facts About Dental Fillings
Before you select the dental filling of choice, you should know about several facts about them:
- Metal fillings expand and contract – temperature changes in your mouth can cause metal fillings to expand and contract. Such changes may put your teeth at risk of breaking or cracking over time. Further, the expansion and contraction may leave room for dental cavities to form around the edges of the tooth filling.
- You could have allergic reactions to dental fillings – particularly amalgams. Although not common, mercury, chromium, beryllium, or nickel in the metal alloy can cause allergic reactions.
- Dental fillings do not last forever – with proper care oral fillings should last between 10 and 25 years. Some materials last a shorter period than others. However, after a couple of years, you may need another procedure to repair or replace the filling material.
- Numbing is necessary before tooth filling procedures – although dental fillings are typically painless treatments, the dentist will need to numb your mouth. The reason is to protect you from any discomfort during the drilling and shaping of your enamel. Aside from that, many of the patients who need tooth filling shave dental cavities and tooth decay, which already causes hypersensitivity and toothaches.
- Tooth fillings can be useful in preventive dental care – dentists do not only recommend dental fillings to patients with diseased and damaged teeth. Some oral fillings like glass ionomers are great for preventive dental cavities and tooth decay. Better yet, some glass ionomer fillings release fluoride on teeth to strengthen the enamels and increase resistance against bacteria that cause cavities. As such, those dental fillings are perfect for pediatric dentistry to protect baby teeth from premature tooth loss.