A filling is the most common way to restore a tooth damaged by decay to its normal shape and function. “Filling” is the descriptive name to fill the cavity made by the dentist when removing decay. A filling prevents further decay in the area by closing off the space where bacteria entered the tooth.
The doctors and the oral healthcare professionals at Millennium Smiles, located near you in Frisco, TX, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the types and the fundamentals of a filling.
There are different filling types, and each will work best for different people. You and your dentist will determine this. The determination will depend upon the extent of the repair, the location of the filling in the mouth, any known allergies, the cost, and the preference.
Below is a list of the 4 common filling types and the considerations for each.
These fillings are custom made in a dental laboratory and cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by the gum tissues and can last as long as 20 years. Although considered the best material for fillings, this type of the most expensive and will require several visits for fabrication and placement.
Amalgam fillings are the least expensive, the most common and resistant to wear. Because of their color, amalgams are not used on teeth that are visible when speaking or smiling.
Composite fillings are tooth-colored and used on teeth where a natural appearance is desired. The materials of a composite filling are mixed and placed directly in the cavity. However, composite fillings are not recommended for large cavities, and these fillings easily stain.
It also must be noted that composite fillings have a short life span of 3-10 years.
These fillings are referred to as inlays or onlays and are fabricated in a dental laboratory. Porcelain fillings are tooth-colored for a natural appearance and will resist stains. The cost of this filling type is comparable to gold fillings and usually cover an entire tooth.
Regardless of the type of filling, the dentist must first remove all decay and clean the affected area before the filling is placed.
The dentist detects the presence of tooth decay during the routine exam. Any abnormal presence on a tooth may be an indication of decay. The dentist will use special tools, and perhaps x-rays, to determine the presence and the extent of any decay.
If you would like a consultation for additional information on tooth decay and fillings, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Millennium Smiles, located in Frisco, TX, where new patients are always welcome.
Millennium Smiles is trusted and highly recommended for all filling types, as well as other treatments and procedures in general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry.