To fill cavities, several different types of dental fillings can be used: direct composite, glass ionomer, or porcelain among them. To determine which filling is the right for you, your dentist will consider various factors, such as the location and severity of the cavity, your medical history, aesthetics, your preferences, and budget. Your doctor may go over all the options with you and help you make a final choice.
Here are some of the most commonly used dental fillings:
- Composite resin fillings are a popular option since their color can be customized. They provide good structure and bond easily with the tooth. They may not be as durable as some other options, and more expansive than amalgam fillings. They also take longer to apply and harden.
- Silver amalgam fillings are a strong and durable choice; however, they are not aesthetically pleasing due to their color. When compared to other fillings, they expand and contract more often, which may lead to tooth cracks. They are less expensive than composite resin fillings. It should also be noted that even though they contain mercury, the FDA has not found silver amalgam fillings to cause any oral issues. Therefore they are safe to use for adults and children 6 and up.
- Gold fillings are extremely long lasting, strong and durable. They are also much more expensive than other dental fillings. To ensure a proper installation, several dental visits may be necessary.
- Ceramic fillings are sturdy and visually appealing. They are more stain-resistant than composite fillings. They are more expensive than other options since they are made of porcelain. In cases when porcelain gets rough, it can cause damage to opposing teeth.
- Glass ionomers (or acrylic fillings) are fillings often used in children, whose teeth are still changing. They are not very durable (last about 5 years) and are susceptible to fractures. They can, however, help prevent tooth decay by releasing fluoride.
When you decide on the right filling, you should talk to your dentist about ways to take care of your restoration. It is important to not let decay form near or under the filling. Your doctor may also suggest follow up appointments.
It is vital to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. To ensure good dental health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Use mouthwash every day (if you are at risk of decay, consider a fluoride mouth rinse)
- Visit your dentist regularly (at least every 6 months for an exam and cleaning).
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Fillings Anderson, Indiana [IN]
Does insurance cover the costs of dental fillings?
The answer to this question depends greatly on the type of the filling chosen. Composite fillings, up to the price of a silver amalgam filling, are covered by most dental insurance plans. To be sure, however, you may need to check with your insurance provider. Your dental office staff can also go over the benefits with you and help you with financing.
What is an indirect filling?
An indirect filling is a restoration used when the tooth damage is too great to support a regular filling but not so severe as to warrant a dental crown. Indirect fillings are similar to composite fillings, but they are prepared in dental labs, therefore they require two visits to place. During the first visit the decay is removed and an impression of your teeth is taken. A temporary filling is placed over the tooth. The next visit is when the temporary filling is removed and replaced with an indirect filling.
There are two types of indirect fillings – inlays and onlays (these last ones are also known as partial crowns). They are strong and can last even 30 years. They are usually made of porcelain, gold or composite resin.
When is a temporary filling applied?
There are several scenarios in which a temporary filling is required:
- When a patient is waiting for a permanent filling, like indirect or gold filling. Temporary fillings serve as place holders.
- Once the root canal procedure is completed.
- When the pulp of the tooth has been irritated.
- In emergency dental treatments.
Temporary fillings are meant to be, just like the name implies, temporary. They are removed once a permanent filling is ready to be used, or a different treatment is proposed. It should be noted that if temporary fillings are worn too long, they may lead to complications and infections.
If you have more questions about dental fillings, please reach out to us. We are ready to answer your questions and help 24/7.