Tooth filling help restore teeth damaged by decay back to a healthy state and function. If you need a tooth filling, the dentist will proceed to clean out the damaged and decayed portion of the tooth. The process requires special tools to clean inside the cavity. After the affected area is clean of harmful decay, the cavity is then filled. The fillings prevent further decay, closing off cracks and spaces. Bacteria will have a harder time entering the filled area of the tooth.
There are a variety of filling materials including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. Reno Dental Associates will work with you to determine which material is best for your mouth. The tooth filling material options are dependent upon the extent of the repair. The factors include tooth location and cost.
Gold fillings are made in a lab and custom cemented to fit in the cavity. While an expensive choice, gold fillings are worth considering on the merit of quality. Many consider gold fillings to be the best material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
Amalgam (silver) fillings are the lower-priced choice, with a high tolerance of wear and tear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
Composite (plastic) resins are colored to your teeth, creating a more natural appearance.
White fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, but they tend to last between 3 and 10 years. In addition, white fillings are not ideal for large cavities because they may chip away over time. Warning: Your tooth filling may become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
Porcelain fillings are often referred to as inlays or onlays. Inlay fillings are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be colored to match the tooth, and it is resistant to staining. However, they are about the same cost as gold filling. The porcelain filling technique typically covers most of the tooth, providing a nearly undetectable filling.