Dental fillings are common repair options for minor fractures, decay, and worn-down teeth. With dental fillings, a patient can eliminate pain, improve their bite, and chew with greater ease. Fillings are the perfect option for those suffering from damaged or weakened enamel.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are a few different options when it comes to dental fillings. These include direct composite, porcelain, glass ionomer, and others. Your dentist will consider a few different factors to see which choice is best for you. Some things they will consider are the severity of the cavity, the location, aesthetics, your medical history, your budget, and your preferences. If you have various options to choose from, your dentist may go over these options with you.
Below are some of the most common dental fillings:
- Ceramic fillings. Ceramic fillings are a great option for those looking for a natural appearance. They are sturdy, and they are more stain-resistant than other kinds of fillings. They can be a bit expensive, though, as they are made with porcelain. They can also damage opposing teeth when the porcelain gets rough.
- Gold fillings. Gold fillings are a great option for patients looking for strong, durable, and long-lasting fillings. The downside to these fillings is their cost. These are generally more expensive. It also may take several trips to the dentist to have these fillings properly placed.
- Composite resin. Composite resin fillings are a very popular option, as they are affordable, and their color can be customized. They bond well with teeth and are very structurally sound. While they aren’t as durable as some options, they still provide good support. It’s important to note, though, that they take longer to apply and harden.
- Glass ionomers. Glass ionomers (or acrylic) fillings are often used for children whose teeth are changing. They aren’t the most durable option, and they can fracture easier. They help with the prevention of tooth decay by releasing fluoride.
- Silver amalgam. Silver amalgam fillings stand out due to their color, but they are also extremely strong and durable. They have the tendency to expand and contract more than other types of fillings—which can actually lead to damage and cracks. They are less expensive than other types of fillings. While they contain mercury, they are safe for patients 6 and up.
Make sure you speak with your dentist about a filling if you are suffering from tooth decay. They will help you to choose the right type of filling to meet your needs.
In order to avoid dental fillings entirely, take good care of your oral health. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Washing out your mouth with mouthwash daily
- Flossing daily, at least once a day
- Setting regular appointments with your dentist for exams and cleanings every six months
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Fillings Indianapolis, Indiana [IN]
What is an indirect filling?
When a tooth is damaged to the point where a regular filling is not an option, a patient may need to have an indirect filling placed. This form of restoration allows for the patient to avoid a dental crown. While indirect fillings are similar to composite fillings, they differ in that they are produced in a lab. Because of this, they require two visits to place. During the first appointment, a dentist will remove the decay and make an impression of the tooth. From there, they place a temporary filling. Once the indirect filling is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary filling and install the indirect filling.
The two types of indirect filling are onlays and inlays. Onlays are also referred to as “partial crowns.” These types of fillings can last upwards of 30 years and are very strong. Indirect fillings are commonly made from composite resin, porcelain, and gold
Why a temporary filling?
There are a few reasons why you may need to have temporary fillings placed. These include:
- When you are waiting for a gold or indirect filling to be produced. Temporary fillings are placeholders.
- After a root canal procedure.
- With emergency dental treatments.
- When tooth pulp has been irritated.
Temporary fillings are not a long-term solution. Once the permanent filling is ready, the temporary filling will be removed, and the permanent filling will be placed. Complications and infections can occur if temporary fillings are worn for too long.
If you would like to know more about the types of dental fillings and the placement process, reach out today. We’d be happy to answer your questions.
Does insurance cover the costs of dental fillings?
Insurance coverage depends on your particular insurance and which type of filling you choose. Often, insurance covers silver amalgam and composite, but it may not cover other types. Our office staff will check your insurance and walk you through which options are available for you.