If you have a cavity, a dental filling is usually the best treatment. However, there are many filling options out there, so how do you understand which is best for you?
As your Summerlin experts at reconstructive dentistry, let us explain these options so you can understand how to decide on the best filling that can be placed in your cavities.
Metal Amalgam Fillings
Metal amalgam fillings are the traditional silver fillings. They have been used for more than 150 years, and they have proven in the past to be a reliable treatment option.
However, these days metal amalgam fillings are known mostly for their problems. They are unattractive. They can cause tooth sensitivity. They can crack your teeth. And they contain toxic mercury.
Because of these problems, mercury fillings are being phased out worldwide. Dr. James B. Polley has not offered mercury fillings for many years.
Composite Tooth-Colored Fillings
Composite tooth-colored fillings are the fillings that have replaced metal amalgam in most situations. These fillings start out as a thick paste that can be fitted into any space after tooth decay has been removed. They are made out of a plastic that includes ceramic particles to increase the strength and toughness of the material. Once the resin has been shaped to fit the space, it is exposed to a curing light, which causes the resin to harden. The filling is then polished to give it a tooth-like luster.
Composite fillings are best for small to medium cavities. In larger cavities, they need to be applied in several layers, hardening each layer separately. Composite fillings don’t weaken teeth, but they don’t strengthen them, either. That means that if a cavity has significantly weakened your tooth, a composite filling may not be the right choice. A composite filling also might not be the best choice if your cavity damaged your dentin, making your tooth sensitive to pressure.
Ceramic Tooth-Colored Fillings
Ceramic tooth-colored fillings are the most attractive and durable fillings available. Made with advanced ceramics, they completely replicate the appearance of natural tooth enamel, including the luster of tooth enamel. They can also match the color of your natural teeth.
Ceramic fillings are custom-designed to fit the exact shape of your tooth. In the past, this was done with a physical impression that would be sent to a lab where the filling would be crafted. Today, we can make a digital impression of your tooth instead. And, with our CEREC machine, we can make the filling on the day of your visit, although if you prefer, the impressions can still be sent to the lab.
Ceramic fillings not only make a tooth look beautiful–they can also strengthen the tooth. That way, your tooth can regain some of the strength lost when a cavity developed. So your tooth is less likely to crack and more likely to last a lifetime. Ceramic fillings resist stains, too, so they’ll look beautiful their entire lives.
Pick the Best Dentist for Your Filling
Fillings are just materials: they still depend on the expertise of your dentist to make sure they’re properly selected and placed to give you the best possible results.