Tooth decay, if left untreated, will eventually consume a large portion of the affected tooth or teeth. Dental filling is one way of restoring your smile to its full glory. The decayed portions of the teeth will be removed, the affected areas cleaned, and the cavity will be filled with a suitable filling material, hence the name “dental filling.”
Types of Dental Fillings
The key to effective dental fillings is the filling material that is used for the procedure. There are many substances that have properties similar to the natural material of a tooth, so there are also many different types of dental fillings. These include:
- Gold Fillings – Gold fillings are perhaps the best filling material ever used for teeth. Gold is a metal that has some fantastic properties that make these fillings last as much as twenty years or more. Obviously, gold fillings are made to order since gold is one of the most expensive metals and not everyone can afford it.
- Composite Resin Fillings – Composite resin is the best filling material if the appearance of the fillings is a major concern. The reason for this is that the color of resin can be changed to suit the existing color of the teeth. However, composite fillings are not as solid as other types since they are more vulnerable to wear and tear.
- Porcelain Fillings – This is an alternative for those who want something as good as gold but don’t want gold-colored teeth. Like gold, porcelain fillings also have to be made to order and are equally expensive.
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Who Needs Tooth Filling?
The following are some of the instances when a dentist may suggest tooth filling:
- Presence of tooth decay that has led to chipped or cracked teeth
- Cavities – large and small alike – will lead to the need for tooth filling
- Tooth damage due to the habit of biting nails or using teeth to uncork bottles
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fillings
Every material used for teeth bonding has its own pros and cons, so here’s a quick list:
Pros of Composite Resign
- Filling will match the tooth color
- Single visit to the dentist
- Bonds directly with the tooth
- No additional tooth drilling
Cons of Composite Resign
- Costlier than amalgam fillings
- Short life when compared to amalgam
- Chances of developing tooth gaps over time
- Procedure is complicated and hence costlier
- At least two dental visits, more if necessary
Pros of Gold Fillings
- No chance of corrosion
- Some people simply prefer gold
- Lasts for decades
Cons of Gold Fillings
- Two dental visits, at least
- Most expensive filling option
- Chances of galvanic shock if amalgam is also used as filling material
- Will not match with tooth because of the gold color
Pros of Porcelain Fillings
- Color match is perfect
- Can withstand a lot of wear and tear
Cons of Porcelain Fillings
- Chances of breaking due to its brittle nature
- Additional drilling of teeth to make room for the clay
Dental filling happens to be one of the better solutions for tooth decay, and there are many options, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right option simply comes down to discussing them with the dentist and deciding which one is best for you.