Have you ever had a cavity or a cracked tooth? If you did, your dentist fixed the damaged area of your tooth with a filling. Dental fillings help restore your tooth’s strength and prevent infections. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of dental fillings:
Temporary and Indirect Fillings
First things first, let’s review temporary and indirect fillings. Temporary fillings are a short-term solution and can be placed for the following reasons:
1. Waiting for a permanent filling to be sized and fitted.
2. To give an infected tooth some rest after a procedure.
Moreover, indirect fillings are used when a tooth’s structure is damaged, but not enough that it needs a dental crown. There are two types of indirect fillings, inlay and outlay. An inlay is a filling that is within your tooth’s chewing surface. An outlay covers your tooth’s ridges on the chewing surface and acts like a dental crown.
Now, let’s move on to other types of dental fillings:
Cast Gold Fillings: These fillings last about fifteen years and do not corrode. Cast gold fillings usually help with inlays, outlays and dental crowns. However, they do not match the color of your tooth and require several dental visits to be placed.
Amalgam Fillings: This type of filling lasts about ten years and is placed to fix damaged teeth in the back of your mouth. While amalgam fillings can be placed in one dental visit and are the not costly, they can still corrode and not bond to your teeth.
Composite resin: Did you know that these fillings are made of plastic and fine glass? Composite resin fillings are usually placed to fix damaged teeth in the front of your mouth and last for about five years. The good news is that this type of filling can be bonded to your tooth and match the color of your teeth. However, these fillings take more time to place and can occasionally shrink.
Ceramic Fillings: This type of filling can last up to seven years and is made of porcelain. Ceramic fillings can be used for many dental procedures, such as crowns and veneers. The fillings can be created to match your tooth, but on occasion they can deteriorate over time.
Glass Ionomer Fillings: These fillings are made of acrylic and glass and can last for five years. Glass ionomer fillings are mainly used to fill inlays and root caries. Some benefits of this type of dental filling are that it bonds to your teeth and contains fluoride (which will help keep your teeth strong). However, it is not as strong as composite resin and does not match your tooth’s color as closely.
Caring for your Tooth’s Fillings
It is important to take care of your tooth’s fillings. If you do not take care of your oral hygiene daily, your tooth’s fillings may crack or leak and become a breeding ground for decay again. It is vital to visit us every six months or if you feel extreme sensitivity. If you are feeling tooth discomfort, make an appointment with us so that we may access the issue and fix the filling as needed.