Fillings are usually used to treat cavities. There are some things you should keep in mind:
- What has been going on in your oral health history?
- Where is the cavity located and how severe is it?
- What kinds of materials are best for your filling? Do you want composite resins, amalgam, etc.?
There are also other considerations, such as:
- How will this filling look when viewed by others?
- How long will it last?
- What does your insurance plan say about covering the filling?
Here are some common dental filling options:
Tooth-colored Composite fillings
Composite fillings, are long lasting and sturdy against the possibility of fractures in small- to mid-size fillings. Chewing is a perfectly acceptable amount of pressure they can withstand. They can be used on either front (anterior) or back (posterior) teeth.
Silver-colored amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings, are made from a combination of metals that include mercury, silver, tin and copper. This type of filling has been used for at least a hundred years and is known for its durability too.
Gold fillings (inlays/onlays)
Inlays/onlays, are an alloy of gold, copper, and other metals. Gold is safe to use, but it is costly.
Not all cavities are fixed with fillings. The durability of dental amalgam makes it a solid choice for large cavities or those in the back teeth where more intense chewing is needed. Some patients only want natural-looking fillings, making composites the logical choice. You may have to choose to get a crown or implant if the case is severe.
You should be able to communicate to your dentist how you want to deal with the cavity. Of course at Central Valley Dentistry our priority is your health and safety. You may be wondering about the mercury content in amalgam, but there is no worry. No study has shown a single negative health effect except because of an allergy. The ADA, FDA, WHO, and the US Disease Control and Prevention committees all say dental amalgam is safe for use.
If you’re feeling pain in your tooth, it may be a cavity that needs urgent attention. If left untreated, they can become much more serious. Fillings will help prevent the cavity from growing deeper and spreading to other teeth and tissue. If it’s not prevented, teeth can decay and fall out. However, it’s well known that prevention is the best medicine. You can decrease the chance of developing cavities by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with anti-cavity toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet
- Visiting your dentist regularly for checkups