What are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are necessary when you have a cavity in your tooth. A cavity happens when there is decay on your tooth. During your dental visit your dentist removes the decayed portion of your tooth and then fills in the area that was removed. Dental fillings can even be used to fix broken or cracked teeth. It can repair teeth that have been worn down by tooth grinding.
A filling can be made out of several different types of materials. The location of your cavity and your insurance may dictate the type of material used for your filling. Your dental office can help you with that selection.
At one time, gold fillings were the only material used in fillings. That is no longer the case. Gold was a good choice because the gums can tolerate this material well and it can last for longer than 20 years. This tends to be a more expensive option. Porcelain fillings are more on the expensive side and close to the cost of gold. Porcelain is popular because it can be made to match the color of your tooth. It also is resistant to stains and incredibly durable. It also covers the majority of the tooth.
Composite Resin fillings are a combination of ceramic and plastic material. They can also be matched to the color of your teeth. This is a popular choice when the cavity is in an area that can be seen. This type of filling is put on the tooth where it hardens. These are not the best if the cavity is in a large area because it can chip over time. They do not last for a long time, usually 3 to 10 years and can become stained by coffee or tea. Amalgam fillings are the silver fillings that you are used to seeing. These are a mixture of silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury. There is not enough mercury in it to be harmful. They are resistant to wear and affordable.