Many of our patients are understandably nervous about coming to see us, and being told that you may need a dental filling can serve to reinforce that fear. Dental fillings are greatly misunderstood, which can lead to mounting dental anxiety. The fact is, dental fillings are not only entirely safe, but they are also vital to help preserve a tooth from the lasting effects of a cavity. When we here at Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC have to inform a patient that they have tooth decay, we want to also inform them of how essential dental fillings are to help prevent the decay from getting worse.
What Are Dental Fillings and What are the More Popular Types?
Dental fillings are a specific type of tooth restoration that works by directly covering an area that has been affected by decay. Not only can a filling help eliminate a cavity from your mouth, but it can also reinforce and strengthen the affected tooth. There are many different types of dental filling materials that we may choose when filling a cavity, depending on the severity of the decay and the location where the decay occurs.
One of the most common types of dental fillings is called amalgam. An amalgam filling is a metallic, silver-colored filling that works best on your back teeth. It is typically made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. While many patients and even some dental providers may shy away from using amalgam, it is quite safe to use in your teeth. It has the added benefits of being durable and strong, but because it is metal, it may shrink or expand due to heat or cold, which may eventually weaken your tooth.
Composite resin fillings are another popular type of filling material. They are made of a combination of plastic and ceramic and are effective on more visible, front teeth. These can be brittle and prone to chipping, so they are not good for molars. However, because they look natural and can be dyed to match your natural teeth, they are a great option for your front teeth. Composite fillings can also stain over time and may need to be replaced every ten years.
Gold fillings are also a great choice for molars and other back teeth. They are one of the strongest materials we can use in your mouth and are a trusted material by both our patients and us. These can last up to twenty years, making them a worthwhile investment in your oral health.
Finally, we often work with porcelain fillings. Porcelain fillings combine the best of amalgam and composite resin. They are strong, durable, and long-lasting. They are less likely to stain and are less brittle than composite resin. They can last a long time if you take good care of them and are also completely safe to use in your mouth. They work great for both visible front teeth and your back teeth.
What To Learn More?
Getting a dental filling does not have to be a scary experience. We will make sure you are entirely comfortable during the procedure to help minimize any discomfort that you might experience. If you are interested in learning more about dental fillings, or to set up an appointment with us here at Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC, please give us a call at 503-620-2020 today!