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Dental fillings are the go-to procedure when a tooth gets damaged due to cavities or similar issues. Dental fillings may have been a common experience during childhood. Read below to learn about how you can get cosmetic dental fillings that are effective as well as aesthetic:
Dental fillings are commonly used to cover up damage caused by cavities. The filling restores the missing enamel, and may prevent the tooth from decaying further.
Dentists may also use dental fillings to cover up minor physical damage to teeth. For example, bad habits like teeth grinding can wear down your teeth, and dental fillings are a popular choice to obscure the damage and contain it.
Modern dentistry uses multiple types of material as dental fillings. The material is chosen based on effectiveness, ability to bind to natural enamel, and how well the material can last in your mouth. Different materials bring you different advantages.
Let’s look as the five most common types of dental fillings that you can choose from at the dentist’s:
Composite dental fillings are made from two different materials, hence the name. The filling is a combination of a resin and a plastic. The filling is mixed as a paste, which is put into the cavity, where the composite paste hardens.
Composite fillings are becoming popular because the material can significantly imitate natural enamel. This type of dental filling is quite suited to fill cavities in teeth that gets exposed when you smile. It’s not easy to tell the difference between a composite filling and the natural enamel.
Despite looking very much like real teeth, composite ceramic do not last long. These fillings often require replacing every five or so years. Also, the material is quite expensive to purchase.
Ceramic fillings are made from medical-grade porcelain. Ceramic dental fillings, just like composite resin, can look very much like natural enamel. The filling can be shaded to match the color of your teeth. Not only that, this type of filling is highly resistant to staining.
Compared to composite resin, ceramic dental fillings are not prone to abrasions. So they last longer. However, the material itself is fragile. Ceramic needs to be a big chunk to be durable. That means your tooth must provide the necessary bulk for the fillings to stay in place. As a result, ceramic dental fillings are done using special techniques called inlays and onlays.
The aesthetically pleasing values of ceramic dental fillings come at a hefty price. You would have to pay more for these compared to composite resin fillings.
Gold dental fillings were quite popular in the past (as seen in pirate pictures). In modern time, though, these fillings are become far less popular. Rarely do dentists offer gold fillings anymore.
Gold fillings are expensive, but dentists preferred the material for its sturdiness. Gold doesn’t corrode and can last in your mouth for 15 years or more. These days, dentists prefer silver-based fillings though.
Silver amalgam dental fillings is made from a mixture of metals and minerals. If you thought this filling is entirely silver, it’s not. Silver amalgam fillings are about 50 percent mercury. The other half of the composition is made up of silver, zinc, copper, and tin metals.
Despite its mercury content, silver amalgam dental fillings are quite safe to use. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Dental Academy deem these fillings safe.
Silver amalgam is a very popular type dental filling. In most parts of the world, it’s the most widely used as well. Dentists prefer the material because it’s surprisingly durable and sturdy. A silver amalgam filling can last up to 15 years in your mouth. Consumers like this material because it’s largely affordable.
Though budget-friendly and long-lasting, silver amalgam dental fillings cannot imitate natural enamel. This material stands out in your mouth. On front teeth, smiling may expose the filling.
Also, silver amalgam changes size in your mouth. That means it can contract or expand enough to show cracks. At this point, you will need a new filling.
Glass ionomer dental fillings are also known as glass and acrylic fillings. This material is not used with adults. Glass fillings are using in children’s teeth mainly. The material is well suited for children’s teeth because the enamel is changing, unlike in adults.
These types of fillings protect children’s teeth from decay by releasing fluoride, a germ-killing mineral. However, this material is not aesthetically pleasing or durable. Glass ionomer fillings last only five years or less. Also, it’s not possible to make the material match tooth color.
It seems like there’s a lot of filling material to choose from. You can look through the pros and cons of each filling and choose what you want the most. However, your dentist is the best person to advice you on which dental filling to use.
Most patients prefer ceramic dental fillings, mainly because the material can look like real teeth. Ceramic is a material commonly used in cosmetic procedures. If you are aiming to make your teeth look better all the while covering up damage, ceramic fillings might suit you. However, these fillings are fragile and can be expensive to replace.
Composite dental fillings can be aesthetically pleasing as well. Generally speaking, composite fillings are cheaper than ceramic, so it’s a good cosmetic material to choose.
If you value durability above all, then silver amalgam dental fillings are the best choice for you. The filling would look conspicuous against your natural teeth. Nut the material is affordable and durable.
For those who want to preserve their smile while covering up a cavity, cosmetic material like ceramic and composite fillings are recommended. Metals like silver can seriously affect your smile, especially on front teeth.
The procedure for getting a dental filling is relatively straightforward. First, you need to have your teeth checked out by a dentist. The dentist may recommend a filling, or an alternative (you can read about that below).
You can get a dental filling in a single visit. The procedure starts with your dentist numbing the affected area using a local anesthetic. If the damage is minor, you may not need numbing.
The dentist would then clean the cavity to remove the damaged decay. There are several types of dental tools used in this process, including a drill, a laser, and an air abrasion tool. When the area is numbed, you won’t feel a thing when the tools are in use.
A cleaning process also follows the decay removal process. The dentist thoroughly cleans the cavity damaged area before you get the filling. Doing so prevents bacterial from being stuck inside the filling.
After the cleaning is done, you dentist will begin the filling process. The filler you chose would go in first. The dentist then has to seal the filling and make it harden against the enamel. Several other material may be applied. The dentist would finally shape the filling to match the tooth structure.
When the filling hardens, the procedure is done. You may have to be on soft foods until the filling completely sets in your mouth. Afterwards, you will be instructed to brush your teeth as usual.
Getting is tooth filling is not considered a risky dental procedure. But as with any treatment, you may suffer complications. But these risks are quite rare. Here are some potential complications of getting dental fillings:
A filling inside a cavity can sometimes pull away from the enamel, creating small pockets between the tooth and the filling material. Bacterial can get into these fillings can cause infections. You may experience inflammation or worsening toothache as a result. Infection is a risk if a cavity is not filled properly.
Dental fillings can sometimes crack or break. In the process, it may damage the tooth. This doesn’t happen frequently. But in rare instances, a hard bite or getting hit in the mouth may cause a filling to crack and damage the enamel. The damage can result in infection or irritation. If you suspect a filling has cracked, you should immediately see a dentist.
Overall, dentists recommend getting a filling than avoiding one. Your teeth can be damaged more by a lack of filling than having one.
Dentists do not normally use alternatives to dental fillings, though options are there. If dental fillings do not contain a cavity, for example, the dentist may recommend removing the tooth altogether.
You can consider dental inlays and onlays to repair damage to teeth caused by decay or physical damage. Inlays and onlays are a type of dental filling, but are used commonly to manage extensive tooth damage.
This type of treatment is more long lasting compared to dental fillings as well. Some inlays and onlays can last up to 30 years in your mouth. Inlays and onlays are intended to strengthen teeth and restore its original shape as much as possible.
If you are seeking to fill up cracked or similarly damaged teeth, you may benefit from dental veneers. This cosmetic treatment procedure uses thin shells of porcelain to change the shape and shade from teeth. Veneers may obscure damage from cavities and may even act as a protective barrier.
In serious cases where a tooth need to be removed, you can use a dental crown, a bridge, or an implant to act as an artificial tooth. Getting a dental implant can restore a lost tooth from the root up. However, this procedure is quite expensive.
You can discuss alternatives to dental fillings with your dentist. It’s possible that other treatment methods may suit your condition better. However, be aware that cosmetic dental procedures, other than fillings, are not cheap.
Getting a dental filling is not a major costly procedure. However, costs can rack up if you use cosmetic dental fillings, or if the dental clinic you chose charge a lot of money.
If you have a medical insurance policy that covers dental care, the insurer is likely to take care of costs. But you may have to pay out-of-pocket for any cosmetic procedures, such as ceramic fillings.
You can reduce the overall cost of a dental filling procedure by choosing an affordable clinic. If dental care is expensive in your country in general, as it commonly is in many western countries, you can consider traveling to Turkey for affordable dental care.
Turkey, as a member of the EU, offers dental care on par with other western EU countries. However, the clinical costs in the southern EU nation is much cheaper in comparison to northern neighbors. So you can get the same quality care for a far more affordable price tag.
Turkey is a good option to keep overall costs low. Alternatively, you can finance your cosmetic fillings with a medical loan. But beware of these as interest rates can be quite high.
Dental fillings can treat a cavity, but the material cannot restore the original functionality of a tooth. You can avoid the costs of dental fillings by avoiding habits that put you at risk for cavities.
Dental cavities form because of bacterial in your mouth. After we eat, food residue gets stuck between teeth. The friendly bacterial in your mouth feeds on the sugar in this food reside. Then the bacterial releases acids during the digestion process.
This acid is highly detrimental to the natural enamel of your teeth. In fact, it gradually corrodes the enamel, causing cavities that expose the sensitive internal parts of the tooth. When a cavity gets deep enough to reach a nerve, you experience blinding tooth pain.
Avoiding cavities is easier than you think. Brush your teeth twice a day as dentists recommend. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. This mineral is well-known to promote enamel health and keep mouth bacteria at bay.
Limiting sugary foods and beverages can also help you avoid dental cavities. Don’t eat at night after brushing teeth. Going to sleep with sugar residue on your teeth is a good way to end up with cavities. Good oral hygiene, in general, will keep your teeth cavity free.