Fillings in Del City, OK
About Dental Fillings
If there is one universal truth about cavities, it is that most adults will have at least one—and plenty of people will have many more than that. Dealing with tooth decay, in fact, is one of the most common problems seen by all dentists, and placing fillings is an everyday occurrence.
There haven’t always been a lot of options as far as fillings go, but in recent years, more options have become available. In the past, most dentists used a mixture of metals to fill a cavity, but now these “amalgams” are nearly a thing of the past.
What Types of Fillings Are Available?
There are several different types of fillings available, and two of the most well-known types are amalgams and composite fillings.
For decades, the filling material of choice was metal amalgam fillings. Usually made by combining silver, tin, copper, mercury, and other metallic elements, these restorations were known for their durability, resistance to wear, and relatively low cost. They were particularly useful in the molars in the back of the mouth because of the force from chewing these teeth need to withstand.
As practical as amalgams are, they also have a few drawbacks. They can mean short-term sensitivity to hot or cold. They also require that more of the natural tooth be removed in order to place them. Another issue is that they tend to expand and contract, which ultimately places undue force on the tooth. Finally, they are not aesthetically attractive because they are dark and visible on the tooth.
Composite fillings have continued to gain in popularity since they were first introduced back in the 1980s, and they have also continued to improve in quality. Composite fillings are made up of tiny particles of quartz or glass, and they are the same color as teeth. Because the composite material bonds to the tooth, it provides excellent durability under pressure from chewing. Cold and heat sensitivities are also not an issue with composite. Another benefit is that the dentist can keep more the natural tooth when prepping for the filling.
Because they are the same color as teeth, they cannot be seen in the mouth. This makes composite fillings a great choice for not only filling back molars but for filling cavities that might be visible when a person speaks or smiles. In addition, composite fillings can be used to fix cracked or broken teeth.
The Process for Filling a Tooth
The first step in filling a cavity is to numb the area around the tooth to be worked on. Next, the decay will be removed from the tooth, and the dentist will ensure the space is clear of bacteria and other debris. After the filling material is put in, the dentist will shape it, trim off any excess that might impact biting down on the tooth, and polish the final filling.
Call Us for an Appointment
If you think you might have a cavity, don’t wait; call our office today. We can talk to you about the options for fillings and which might be best for you.