Fillings are needed when a patient has a cavity.
Although not all tooth decay is in need of being filled, especially if it is early, a filling will restore the damaged tooth back to its normal function and shape. The dentist begins the procedure by removing all the decayed tooth material and cleaning the affected area. The cleaned out cavity is then filled with a filling material that best suits the patient. Materials available to patients include gold, porcelain, a composite resin and an amalgam which is an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, and zinc. Fillings not only restore a damaged tooth but also prevent further decay that would otherwise occur where bacteria could enter spaces.
The dentist will recommend a type of filling that is best for the patient.
The dentist takes into consideration the extent of the repair, the patient’s allergies to the filling material, the location of the filling as well as the cost of the filling.
Gold fillings are made in a lab then cemented into place. Gum tissues tolerate gold inlays very well and can last more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it is the most expensive filling and requires multiple visits to be completely inserted.
Amalgam or silver fillings are the most popular. They are resistant to wear and are inexpensive in comparison to the other fillings. They are more noticeable due to their darker color than porcelain or composite fillings. Also, if the patient needs a filling in a front tooth, it will most likely not be used.
If you have any questions call Dr. Heather Darcey at Clear Lake Dental 281-488-6862
Composite or plastic resins are able to be matched to the patient’s natural tooth color. These are mostly used where the filling will be most noticed such as in the front teeth. The ingredients are mixed then placed right into the cavity to harden. Composite fillings are not an ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear away over time. Staining from coffee, tea or tobacco is also a frequent issue. Comparable to other fillings, they do not last as long either, normally three to 10 years.
Porcelain is another filling material option for the patient.
Porcelain inlays or onlays are created in a lab then bonded to the tooth. They are able to be matched to the patient’s natural tooth color and are resistant to stains. A porcelain filling will cover most of the tooth once it is completely installed. Unfortunately, they are about the same price as a gold filling.
A filling may not be necessary for a tooth that has a lot of decay or has a fracture that damaged a large part of the tooth. A crown or cap may be recommended by a dentist instead.
Dentists are happy to answer any questions a denture wearer may have. Especially make sure to contact the dentist if the dentures stop fitting or are damaged. Regular dental checkups need to be scheduled as well.
If you think you may need a filling or if you have any questions about filling you already have call Dr. Heather Darcey at Clear Lake Dental, 281-488-6862