Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problem simply because its main causer plaque (sticky bacteria) easily forms on the teeth when you eat and drink any kind of food, but especially one that contains lots of sugars. Plaque destroys the structure of the tooth by producing acids that damage the enamel or the outer layer of the tooth. This often results in enamel loss which makes the tooth a lot more sensitive to hot and cold causing you pain and discomfort. The increased sensitivity and the damaged tooth’s surface can considerably be improved with a dental filling which is the best restorative treatment for this type of dental problem. Depending on just how much the tooth is damaged the filling can either be placed directly in the cavity or an impression of the whole tooth is made which is used for creating a custom filling that would perfectly fit the damaged area. There are four main types of fillings that can be used to effectively treat tooth decay. Knowing the main advantages and drawbacks of each type can help you decide which one is the right for you.
An amalgam filing is basically an amalgamation of different metals such as mercury, silver, tin and copper. The main component in this mixture of metals is mercury, while the filling usually has a silver colour which tends to get darker over time, so it might appear as part of your tooth is almost black. Therefore, when it comes to aesthetics and restoring the beauty of your smile amalgams are not the ideal choice. While it may not look great on your teeth, this type of filling is usually the least expensive while at the same time being very durable and long lasting.
As a combination of acrylic resin and glass composite fillings can easily be shaded to match the natural colour of your teeth, making them a lot less visible than amalgams. The composite is placed on the damaged area in layers, where every layer is hardened using a special light. After that the dentist shapes and polishes the filling to perfectly fir the tooth. Composite fillings are one of the best filling options from both a practical and aesthetic point of view. They are designed to bond to the tooth providing long lasting support its remaining structure.
The main component in gold filling is of course gold, but they also contain other metals such as palladium and silver. These are very durable and can last you up to 20 years and more, but the procedure for getting a gold filling is also the longest and requires several dental visits. Another drawback is that gold fillings tend to be the most expensive out of all the different filling options.
A ceramic filling is made from high quality dental ceramic which can be customized to look like your natural teeth. The dental ceramic is not as strong as other types of materials such as gold or acrylic resin, but is nevertheless a long lasting solution. The filling is chemically bonded to the tooth which means it won’t brake easily and can last you a very long time.
First published here: What are the Different Types of Dental Fillings