Got toothache or notice holes in your teeth? Then you may have cavities, and the best thing to do is schedule an appointment for a dental exam at our Buford Dental Clinic. In just one visit, our dentist will be able to identify whether you have cavities (or tooth decay) and need a tooth filling to restore your teeth.
Types of Filling Materials and Their Pros and Cons
Amalgam (Silver) Fillings – Usually referred to as silver fillings, it was the most common type of dental filling used in the past. Silver fillings usually require more healthy parts of the tooth be removed to make a space large enough to hold the filling, and the aesthetic drawback is pretty obvious! Also, it tends to expand and contract with heat, causing teeth to crack. Amalgam is an alloy made of mercury, silver, copper, tin and usually a small amount of zinc. Our Buford Dentist, Dr. Nimisha Patel, does not consider this type of filling as an optimal dental treatment; therefore, we do not provide this type of filling at our Buford Dental Office. We like to keep your smile metal-free for health and aesthetic reasons!
Composite Resin (Tooth Colored) Fillings – Composite resin is a filling material formulated to resemble the color of your natural tooth, so you can talk, laugh, or smile with confidence. Composite resin consists of glass or quartz filler added to a resin medium, which produces a tooth-colored filling. This plastic and glass mixture contains no metal and can be shaped to resemble a real tooth. Composite dental fillings are also used to repair a chipped tooth, broken tooth or worn down teeth. They are more expensive then amalgam fillings because the procedure for placing tooth colored dental filling is a bit more complicated than it is for an sliver filling and requires more time and work on the dentist’s part. They are less durable then amalgam.
Cast Gold Fillings – Gold fillings are more durable, but are lot more expensive then most other types of fillings. They typically last up to 35 years if proper hygiene is practiced. A gold cavity filling requires up to two dental office visits to place unlike other types of dental fillings which usually can be done in one office visit.
Ceramic Fillings (Tooth Colored) – Usually made of porcelain, Ceramic Fillings is another tooth-colored dental filling similar to composite resin fillings. Since they are made from porcelain, it makes them more resistant to stains. They are chemically bonded to natural teeth which can even strengthen them and may last for over 15 years.
Indirect (or Onlays & Inlays) Fillings – are similar to tooth-colored fillings except they are made in a dental laboratory and require two visits before being placed. Onlays & Inlays are stronger, longer-lasting, and visually appealing alternative to traditional dental filling. They are used when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.
Temporary Fillings – Are used for certain filling procedures that require more then one appointment, such as gold and indirect fillings that use composite materials. They can also be used following a root canal or if emergency dental treatment is needed to relive a toothache. They are not meant to last and usually fall out, fracture, or wear out within a month. If the temporary filling is not replaced with a permanent one, the tooth could become infected or you could have other complications. So be sure to contact us to get it replaced with a permanent filling.
Cavity filling procedure at our Buford Dental Office is relatively simple and typically takes just one or two dental visits:
- First local anesthetic is used to numb the area around the tooth to be filled
- The decay is removed
- The tooth & cavity is cleaned of bacteria and debris
- Cavity is filled with a composite tooth colored restorative material which is applied in layers
- A special light that “cures” or hardens each layer is applied.
- The composite material is shaped to the desired result
- Any excess material is trimmed off, and the final restoration is polished.
Click here to watch tooth filling procedure video
How to care for teeth with fillings
You should follow good oral hygiene by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily. Visit our Dental Office every 6 months for dental checkup and cleanings.
Tooth Fillings FAQs
Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Tooth Colored Fillings? Most dental insurance cover the cost up to the price of the silver filling. The patient has to pay the difference in this case.
What are some common issues that can occur after a fillings procedure? Tooth sensitivity to pressure, air, sweet foods, or temperature is fairly common. And the sensitivity typically resolves on its own within a few weeks. So you should avoid those things that are causing the sensitivity for the first few weeks. Please contact our Buford Dental Office if the sensitivity does not subside within two to four weeks or if your tooth is extremely sensitive. If you experience pain when you bite, the filling may be interfering with your bite. You will need to return to our dental office to have the filling reshaped.