A filling is way to fix the teeth that has been damaged by decay. Filling aids the teeth to regain its lost structure and shape. While giving a filling, the dentist first removes the decayed teeth. He or she then cleans the area and fills the cleaned cavity with the filling material.
The filling closes spaces through which bacteria can enter and prevents further decay of teeth. Various types of materials are used for filling- gold, porcelain, composite resin or tooth-colored filling, amalgam which is the alloy of copper, tin, silver or mercury.
Finding out the best type of tooth cavity filling:
An uniform type of filling may not be ideal for everyone. Which type of dental filling is to be used depends on the extent of decay in the mouth, allergic conditions to certain materials and the cost. Different tooth filling materials include:
- Gold tooth filling: Gold fillings are made in a laboratory and then cemented into the place. Gold filling are well tolerant to gum tissues and may even last as long as 20 years. For this reason, may dentist recommend gold tooth cavity filling. However, it is the most expensive among all cavity fillings and require multiple visits.
- Amalgam or silver fillings : Silver or amalgam fillings are tolerant to wear and are relatively less expensive than gold fillings. They are noticeable and are not usually used for the front teeth.
- Composite resins: Composite or plastic resins are tooth cavity filling that camouflage into your mouth. They are made to match to color of your teeth and are generally used to provide more realistic or natural appearance. The ingredients are mixed and are directly fixated to the cavity, where it hardens on its own. However, plastic tooth cavity filling may not be the right material for filling large cavities. This is because composite resins wear over time. They can also get color stained from tobacco, coffee or tea and does not last more than 3 to 5 years.
- Porcelain fillings: Porcelain tooth cavity fillings are called on-lays or inlays. The are made in a laboratory and then fixated to the teeth. Porcelain tooth cavity filling can match the color of the teeth and does not get stained from any kind of food. The procedure of porcelain fillings covers most of the tooth areas. The cost for porcelain tooth cavity filling is as much as gold.
Procedure of tooth cavity filling
During a tooth cavity filling, the dentist removes the decay from the teeth. He/she then cleans the affected area. The area of cleaned out cavity is then filled with any of the tooth cavity filling materials mentioned above.
Detecting tooth cavity
Only a dentist can detect a tooth cavity. The dentist uses a small mirror to examine and check the surfaces of the teeth during a checkup. Any abnormality in the teeth is closely checked using special instruments. The dentist may also get an X-Ray of the entire mouth. Which type of tooth cavity filling is to be used depends on the degree of damage caused in the mouth.