Dental Health 101: Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Fillings

Tooth fillings are essential to protecting teeth from decay and infection, but they’re far from perfect. The materials used in today’s fillings have been around for more than 6500 years now.

Thanks to recent innovations in the dental industry, tooth fillings will be more effective and have a longer lifespan than ever before. Here’s everything you need to know about tooth fillings and why they’re important to your dental health.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are used to treat cavities or small areas of tooth decay. The filling material is placed in the cavity, and then it is shaped and polished. There are different types of dental fillings, including amalgam (silver), composite (tooth-colored), gold, and porcelain.

Amalgam fillings are the most common type of filling, but they are also the most visible. Composite fillings are less visible but may not last as long as amalgam fillings. Gold and porcelain fillings are the most expensive but are also the longest-lasting.

What Is the Purpose of a Filling?

A filling is a way to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay back to its original shape and function. The filling material is placed into the tooth to fill the cavity that the decay has created.

The filling not only protects the tooth from further decay but also restores the tooth to its original strength and appearance. There are different types of fillings that can be used, depending on the location and severity of the decay, as well as the patient’s preference.

Pros And Cons of Different Types of Dental Fillings

There are many different types of dental fillings available, each with its pros and cons. Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals. They are very strong, making them a good choice for large cavities. However, they can be noticeable, and some people are concerned about the mercury content.

Composite fillings are made of a mixture of glass or quartz and plastic. They can be matched to the color of your teeth. They’re not as strong as amalgam fillings and may not last as long, but they’re less noticeable. Gold fillings are also quite strong, but they’re expensive and require multiple visits to the dentist.

Silver amalgam is a mix of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It can harden teeth that have become weakened by tooth decay or injury. Glass ionomer fillings are made of a mixture of glass and acrylic. They’re stronger than composite fillings and more affordable than gold fillings, but they may not be as durable or long-lasting.

The downside is that they contain mercury which can be toxic if ingested. Glass ionomer cements are designed to fill small cavities, cracks, and chips in teeth. They’re available in different colors to match your natural teeth and last up to three years before needing a replacement.

If you are experiencing pain in your tooth, you may be in need of a filling. Furthermore, if one of your old fillings has fallen out, you should contact your dentist and make an appointment. Leaving it uncared for will cause the situation to worsen.