Dental Filling

dental fillingIn the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free fillings are becoming the preferred approach.

Which Type of Filling is Best?
No one type of dental filling is best for everyone. What’s right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Considerations for different materials include:

dental fillingGold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years.

For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.

They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.

dental-fillingAmalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.

Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth.Their cost is similar to gold.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated in two ways: through root canal therapy (in which nerve damaged nerve is removed) or through a procedure called pulp capping (which attempts to keep the nerve alive).

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