A filling is used to save a tooth damaged by decay. Your dentist will remove the decay, clean the area, and fill it. Decay can’t progress once the cavity is filled because bacteria and food particles are prevented from reentering the tooth.
When Would I Need a Filling?
During your checkup, your dentist inspects the surface of each tooth for cavities. If any are found, the dentist determines if they need to be filled. If so, the filling type will need to be considered.
Types of Fillings
- Gold Fillings. Gold fillings are more durable than other filling materials and can last up to 20 years. The material is mixed with other metals like silver. This type of filling requires at least two dental visits. On your first visit, your dentist will clean the affected tooth and create a mold for it. The mold will be sent to the dental lab. Once the filling is made, your dentist cements it to your tooth. But if you prefer a natural look, this filling may not be ideal for you.
- Dental Amalgam. Also known as silver fillings, dental amalgam is inexpensive and durable. It can last for around 14 years. Since it’s easy to place, one dental visit may be enough. Although dental amalgam releases mercury, the amount is minute and doesn’t cause illness. It’s commonly used for back teeth or less noticeable areas since this filling is darker than natural teeth. The Canadian Dental Association has answered these frequently asked questions on the use of amalgam fillings.
- Composite Fillings. Composite or plastic resins are colour-matched to your tooth. They’re durable and can last approximately 10 years. However, this type of filling may not be ideal for some patients. They’re not as strong as amalgam and may not suit teeth that are used mostly for biting. They may also not work for patients with teeth grinding issues. Over time, they are susceptible to staining.
- Porcelain Fillings. Also called inlays or onlays, these fillings are made in a dental lab. They look natural and maybe stain-resistant too. However, the cost is similar to gold fillings.
Which Dental Filling Should I Choose?
It depends on a few things. Here are some of the factors to consider in choosing the right type of filling:
- Extent of damage
- Tooth position
- Personal preference
See a dentist soon if you have cavities that are starting to bother you. We can schedule an appointment that works with your schedule. Call us today at (204) 663-3423. Have your teeth examined by one of our friendly dentists.