Fillings are used to treat a cavity or tooth decay, repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse, such as from tooth grinding. Your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and then clean the affected area. Then your dentist will fill in the cleaned-out area to help prevent infection and restore your tooth’s beauty and function. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Types Of Fillings
Several kinds of dental filling materials are available, but the two main types of fillings are metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings.
Each type may provide certain advantages and disadvantages in different situations. There are options with the choice of a metal filling, amalgam metal or cast gold metal. Tooth colored fillings, on the other hand, have three options to choose from which are composite, porcelain or glass ionomer.
There are two types of metal filling:
- Amalgam: A classic silver filling that is made of mercury, silver, tin and copper. The combination of these metals creates a strong, stable and safe filling.
- Cast Gold: A gold filling that combines with other metals to provide a long lasting, strong filling.
There are three types of tooth-colored filling:
- Composite: For those who want an invisible filling. Consists of a mixture of plastic and glass that bonds to the tooth itself.
- Porcelain: Strong, high-tech dental ceramics that are more lifelike than other fillings and don’t stain as composites can.
- Glass ionomer: Made from an acrylic and glass powder mix that acts as a translucent filling that releases small amounts of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
Each type of filling has different advantages and disadvantages in terms of aesthetics, durability and strength. Only your dentist can determine if you need a filling. If you think you might have a cavity or other dental issue, make an appointment with your dentist. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage.
How Should I Care For My Fillings?
To maintain your fillings, you should:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Make sure you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also, flossing at least once a day can help make your fillings last.
- See your dentist regularly. See your dentist at least twice a year for professional teeth cleanings. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Call your dentist if your tooth is extremely sensitive, if you feel a sharp edge, you notice a crack in the filling, or if a piece of the filling is missing. If your dentist suspects that a filling might be cracked or loose, they will take X-rays to assess the situation.
How Do I Get A Filling?
Fillings are commonly performed procedures that can help prevent more serious problems. If you think you might need a filling, you should make an appointment with your dentist. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.