A common dental solution in restorative dentistry entails using dental fillings to repair teeth. Many patients walk into dental clinics expecting to get tooth fillings, sometimes even without the assurance that they need them.

What Are Dental Fillings?

They are direct restorations for repairing and restoring damaged enamel. Dental fillings near you are typically for repairing teeth with dental cavities. Since tooth cavities are among the most common oral problems in dentistry, dentists in Tuscaloosa will use tooth fillings as one way to treat them.

However, other than a tooth cavity filling, dental fillings can help treat other dental issues, including the following:

  • Hypersensitivity – is when your teeth feel overly sensitive when exposed to different temperatures. You will experience discomfort when you eat foods too hot or too cold. Some sensitivity will also arise when you brush your teeth.
  • Risk of dental cavities – sometimes, our dentists at Dental Care South recommend dental fillings to patients who have yet to develop tooth cavities. The oral fillings will serve as a protective layer of teeth, reducing the likelihood of cavities forming on enamel.
  • Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth – dentist may recommend dental fillings to remedy cracks, chips, and breaks of enamel.

Types of Material for Dental Fillings

In dentistry, versatility is paramount in the creation of various dental restorations. It is the only way a dental restoration can remain useful over time, serving the varying needs of different patients. The differences between types of dental fillings are marked by the material used. The types of materials for dental fillings can either be metallic or non-metallic.

Metal fillings

They comprise different metal alloys strong enough to repair teeth’ enamel. They include the following:

  • Gold fillings – gold is the primary component in these types of fillings. Gold fillings are very sturdy, making them suitable for restoring back teeth. However, the gold element present in these fillings makes them tend to be very expensive.
  • Silver fillings – are popularly known as amalgams. They comprise silver as the primary metal, alongside a metal alloy of copper, zinc, and mercury. These fillings are more popular than gold fillings because of their affordability. However, the color of the metal alloy is unappealing, which has become a big turn-off to patients concerned with their aesthetic appearance. Besides, there continues to be debates and discussions about the safety of amalgams when mercury can be harmful to human health.

Which Materials Are Best?

They comprise any tooth fillings that do not contain a metallic component. However, non-metal are also strong materials that can restore optimal functionality. They include the following:

  • Composite fillings – they feature tooth-colored composite resin, hardened on teeth enamel to bond permanently. Composite fillings are quite popular for their aesthetic value, not to mention affordability, compared to their non-metal alternatives. Composite fillings, however, do not last as long as many dental fillings. They have a life of between 5 and 15 years before they need replacement.
  • Porcelain fillings – are tooth-colored alternatives to composite fillings. Porcelain fillings are indirect restorations, meaning they must be created in a dental laboratory. They come as a single unit that fits perfectly in the tooth cavity. These dental restorations are very sturdy, offering a perfect solution for restoring molars and premolars.
  • Glass ionomers – you can consider them the perfect tooth fillings for preventive dental care. When you have a high risk of getting dental cavities, your dentist will recommend getting these dental fillings. They feature clear acrylic that becomes inconspicuous on your teeth. They are great for restoring teeth on the brink of damage, particularly for pediatric dentistry.

When choosing your dental fillings, many factors come into play. Aside from your individual tastes and preferences, also consider the durability, sturdiness, safety, and cost of your dental filling. Modern dentistry advocates for non-metal fillings which meet many patients’ needs than not. However, you will need to liaise with your dentist during your dental exam to discuss the best option depending on your underlying needs and dental expectations.

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