Trusted Dentists in Bourbon, IN, for Dental Fillings and Restorations
Fillings and restorations are often discussed together because their functions go hand in hand. Restorative dentistry is more of a catch-all term for any process that restores the mouth’s functionality and natural aesthetic. This category contains many procedures you’ve likely heard of, including veneers, bridges, full and partial dentures, crowns, dental implants, and, of course, fillings.
What Are Fillings?
Fillings are the most common type of dental procedure and are used as a direct solution to cavities. The procedure involves numbing the area around the infected tooth and then removing the portions damaged by the cavity. When finished, we use a composite material to fill in the gap—hence the name “filling.”
Can I Get Rid of a Cavity Some Other Way?
Unfortunately, no. Once a cavity is formed, it can never be reversed since it creates a permanent hole in your tooth that cannot be grown back. Cavities can happen to anyone, and they are often caused by high-sugar diets or just the natural changes in the mouth that occur with age. Failing to treat a cavity can lead to a toothache, gum disease, and other maladies.
Which Composite Material Is Right for You?
Resin fillings are tooth-colored and can be made to closely match the shade of your existing teeth. They require less intensive drilling than their metal counterparts and actually form chemical bonds with the tooth that improve its structure. However, this option can be up to twice as expensive as amalgam fillings and lasts only five to seven years.
Amalgam fillings are often called “silver fillings” due to their color, but they’re actually made mainly of mercury with added silver, tin, zinc, and copper. The amount of mercury used in these is negligible, and the FDA has found no issues with this material for those over the age of six years old. Amalgam fillings tend to be less expensive and are more durable than tooth-colored composites.
This material is a combination of acrylic and specialty glass. It’s used mostly for young children or fillings beneath the gum line. A benefit of these is that they release fluoride, which is essential for protecting teeth from decay. These tend to last five years and are comparable in cost with resin.
More popular many years ago, gold fillings act as a durable material for tooth fillings. However, this material must be placed over the course of at least two office visits and is ten times more expensive on average than an amalgam filling.
Ceramic or porcelain fillings are highly resistant to staining compared to resin composites. Although they typically last more than 15 years, the up-front cost can be as much as a gold filling.