The unmistakable sting of a cavity can make a lot of people nervous. There can questions about seeking treatment, and apprehension about receiving it. What will Dr. Patel need to do to repair the problem? How long will it take? What will she use for the filling? Although the thought of getting a filling might be intimidating, you don’t need to worry about this basic tenet of modern dentistry. Here is some information about the types of fillings available and the process of having a cavity filled.
Types of Fillings
Although it might seem painful to have a crevice in one of your teeth packed with foreign material, getting a filling today is easier than ever. Here are a few different materials your dentist might choose to use, and the advantages they carry:
- Dental Amalgam: By far the most economical option, dental amalgam is an alloy made from tin, silver, mercury, and copper.
- Silver or Gold: Prized for their hard surfaces and non-reactive properties, molten silver and gold were used in the olden days. However, because there are cheaper and more attractive options available, most dentists shy away from these precious metals.
- Composite Resin: For the best of both worlds, many dental offices offer composite resin fillings. Composite resins are made from durable plastics and ground porcelain that can be dyed to match surrounding teeth.
Benefits of Composite Resin Fillings
Although composite resin fillings tend to be more expensive than dental amalgam, there are several reasons that many dentists swear by this effective filling material. Here are just a few reasons your dentist might recommend composite resin, or tooth-colored fillings:
- Aesthetics: Those metal fillings might be less expensive, but they might make your teeth look spotty. However, because composite resin fillings can be dyed to match the surrounding dental structures, you won’t have to worry about those fillings disrupting your pearly grin. After the resin material has been placed, dentists can even grind it down and shape it to blend it in for a pleasing cosmetic look.
- Durability: In addition to being beautiful, tooth-colored fillings are also incredibly durable. In fact, when well-cared for, those composite resin fillings can last as long as a decade.
- Complicated Repairs: If you have a problem tooth that requires extensive repairs, tooth-colored fillings can allow Dr. Patel to correct the problem without making the tooth stand out. The same resin used to fill cavities can even be used to fill gaps in your teeth or reshape chipped areas.
The Process of Getting A Tooth-Colored or Composite Resin Filling
In a lot of ways, getting a tooth-colored filling is a lot like getting a traditional amalgam filling. After your dentist grinds away the decay with a small dental drill, the area will be cleaned and rinsed. Next, the dentist will apply a chemical to your teeth that will allow the filling material to bond to the surrounding structure. Afterwards, the resin will be put into place, shaped, and cured with an ultra violet light.
If you think that you could benefit from a few tooth-colored fillings, call us today to book an appointment!