A restorative dental filling is one of the most conservative ways to repair damaged or decayed teeth. At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia will first determine the health of your tooth before deciding to fill it with one of the varieties of dental fillings.
The Truth About Cavities and Why They Need to Be Filled In Their Early Stage
Many people often go to the dentist when they feel pain in their teeth and think a simple filling would fix the problem. However, contrary to popular belief, a cavity in its early stages does not hurt. What is worse is that a simple glance at your teeth in the mirror cannot help you determine whether your teeth are healthy or not since a cavity can easily develop in hidden places like between and the back of your teeth. Sometimes, a tooth may appear unharmed from above but may have a cavity developing deep inside.
Only when the cavity has penetrated deep inside the dental pulp do most people experience pain. However, at that time, a simple filling is not enough to repair the damage and you may need to resort to more invasive methods to save your tooth.
That is why it is important to keep your dental appointments so that we can determine the health of your teeth and repair any developing cavities with a restorative dental filling quickly to prevent further damage.
Different Types of Restorative Dental Fillings
All dental fillings come with their pros and cons. Some of the most common types of fillings we use include:
Gold fillings are also known as onlays and they are custom-made to fit a person’s teeth. Gold fillings are hypoallergenic and do not react with gums. Gold is also a durable metal and can last for over 25 years. It can withstand a large amount of force, which is why it is preferred for the back teeth.
However, gold fillings are very expensive. In addition, gold fillings placed next to silver amalgam fillings can result in galvanic shock; however, this is not very common.
Silver amalgam fillings are made of silver and base metals. These fillings are also popular options for repairing your back teeth. Like gold, these fillings are quite strong and may last for over 15 years if they are taken proper care of. They are also quite affordable.
However, amalgam fillings require proper tooth structure to be removed as they require more space than a gold filling to fit on your tooth.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of glass and plastic. This filling material is white so they match the natural color of your teeth and hence many people prefer it for their front teeth. The composite resin also adheres very tightly to the tooth, making it stronger.
As compared to an amalgam filling, composite resin allows less tooth structure to be removed. However, they only last for three to 10 years with good care. They are also not very resistant to stains.
Like gold fillings, porcelain fillings are also indirect fillings that are prepared in the dental lab. These fillings are the most natural-looking out of all the fillings and can resist stain, unlike composite resin.
With good care, porcelain fillings can last for 15 years. However, they are almost as expensive as gold fillings.
Restorative dental fillings are the most effective in repairing minor to moderate cavities. That is why it is important that you keep your six-month dental appointments so that you are not caught unaware by a big cavity. Call us today at (346) 250-2930 so that we can assess the health of your tooth and repair your cavities in their early stages.