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Popular Dental Filling Material
Dental fillings are the first line of defense when it comes to stopping tooth decay in its tracks. Tooth decay is caused by the acids created by oral bacteria. These microorganisms feast on food particles that are left on teeth surfaces after meals, converting the sugars in them into acids that eat away at teeth enamel. These acids lead to the formation of holes known as cavities.
When left untreated, these holes will continue to expand until they leave the pulp chamber compromised or damage the tooth to the point it falls out. Once the pulp chamber is compromised, a tooth becomes susceptible to infection. An oral infection is not a huge problem when dealt with early on, but it can spread to other parts of the body like the brain where it can be life-threatening.
Common types of dental filling material
Ready to get rid of the pain and increased teeth sensitivity caused by your cavities? Here are some of your best options when it comes to dental filling materials:
- Silver amalgam fillings: Silver amalgam fillings have been the most popular way to close up cavities for the past 150 years. The material is made from a mixture of silver, mercury and metals like copper. It provides one of the more durable types of dental filling that can last up to 15 years. However, a silver amalgam filling has a distinct dark grey color, so any repairs made with it are easy to spot. Silver amalgam fillings get the job done when it comes to filling up cavities, but they lead to poor aesthetics and they contain mercury which is a toxic substance
- Composite resin fillings: These have emerged as the most popular way to fill up cavities these days. The composites used are mixtures of plastics and glass. The material can be easily color-matched with the color of the patient’s teeth, leading to repairs that are virtually impossible to detect when worn. The application of a composite resin takes about 45 minutes per tooth and it is completed during a single visit. Repairs made with composite resin last up to five years and touch-up applications of the composite can be performed as needed
- Ceramic fillings: These types of fillings arguably lead to the most pleasing aesthetics. Ceramics have a natural white color and they share properties with real teeth like their translucence. Ceramic fillings are typically made in a lab from an impression of the patient’s tooth. Better known as onlays and inlays, these fillings are typically used when the damage to the patient’s tooth is too severe for a regular filling. A bonus that comes with ceramic fillings is their resistance to stains. It makes it easier to keep teeth restored with ceramic fillings looking pearly white
- Plastic/glass ionomer fillings: These types of fillings release fluoride into the tooth being treated, helping to prevent further tooth decay. These do not lead to the best aesthetics, but they can be great for baby teeth that are susceptible to decay
Restore your teeth with fillings
Call or visit our Oak Ridge clinic if some of your teeth have been damaged by tooth decay. Our dentist will educate you about your options.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Fillings in Oak Ridge, TN.
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