Getting the news that you have a cavity can be a bit depressing. But all is not lost. If you haven’t gotten a cavity filled in quite a few years, or if just discovered your first cavity, then you may be surprised at the many options available to you.
Generally speaking, dental fillings can vary in intricacy as well as the kind of material used. There are two kinds of fillings. Direct fillings are placed right into a cavity. Indirect fillings involve taking an impression of the affected tooth, and then creating a custom filling that will be placed around it.
5 Cavity Filling Innovations
- Silver Amalgam. This is the most classic, least expensive option for fillings. This was the only option for dental fillings for many years. As an amalgam, this will have a mixture of mercury along with silver. Silver amalgam is longer lasting and is FDA approved for children aged 6 and above. Over time, silver fillings can lose their luster and can be quite conspicuous.
- Composite. Although this material isn’t as strong and long lasting as an amalgam filling, composed of acrylic resin and powdered glass, composite fillings can be created to have the same coloring as your teeth which will make it inconspicuous and give you a more a natural look to your smile. If you have a small cavity in a tooth that’s not involved in most of your chewing, this is a good option.
- Gold. As you can imagine, gold fillings are the most expensive kind of filling. These durable fillings are indirect fillings, which means that you’ll need some extra time at the dentist’s office to get an impression of the tooth that needs the filling. Gold fillings can last up to 20 years according to the ADA.
- Porcelain. Similar to gold fillings, porcelain fillings are indirect fillings meaning you’ll also need more time at the dentist. And like gold fillings, they are on the more expensive side. But unlike metal fillings, porcelain is not nearly as strong. But, porcelain does looking more like natural teeth.
- Resin. If your child has a cavity in one of her teeth, even in one of her baby teeth, then a resin composite filling can work well. This kind of filling is used for primary teeth, for filling small cavities, or for filling permanent teeth that are not used for intense chewing. The composite is comprised of glass or quartz filler added with a resin, which create a natural look for teeth. Resin composite fillings have only become more stable in recent years. After the dentist keeps the affected tooth dry and drills out the decay, the resin is layered into the opening. After that, the dentist will use a dental curing light (an LED light or halogen light) to cure the resin solid. Then after the curing, the resin is shaped to look like the tooth.
Looking for a high quality dentist in the Phoenix area? Contact us at Mountain Park Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.