Dental fillings are the recommended treatment option for teeth that have developed decay. Dental restoratives restore teeth and help avoid tooth loss. Before the dentist fills the tooth, the decay is removed and the cavity is cleaned to avoid infection. Tooth decay should be treated as soon as possible, as bacteria can form inside the tooth and cause even more damage.
Dental fillings are available in four different materials: gold, porcelain, amalgam, and composite-resin. While all these materials work well, patients may prefer a specific one. Each material is outlined below:
- Gold – This type of dental filling is the most expensive, but can last a long time.
- Amalgam – These silver fillings are less expensive than others, but they darken over time, which makes them unfavorable.
- Composite-Resin – This material offers a natural look, as the color is matched to the teeth. Patients favor this material because the filling is discreetly hidden. Composite fillings last up to 10 years but tend to stain easily.
- Porcelain – Porcelain fillings are custom-made in a lab to fit the cavity. The filling is then color-matched and applied as an inlay or onlay. This material can be quite expensive but is fairly stain-resistant compared to composite-resin material.
Is a dental filling always needed to treat tooth decay?
Depending on how severe the tooth decay is, you may need a dental crown or a root canal. For example, an unusually large filling may need a dental crown. If the decay has reached the tooth nerve, a root canal may be needed. The dentist will determine the best treatment approach.
How do I maintain a dental filling?
This type of dental restorative requires no special care. Continue proper dental care hygiene as normal. Avoid candy and hard food to prevent chips and other damage. Inform your dentist of any damage. Any repairs need to be performed promptly to avoid infection.
Do you need to fill a cavity? You may not even know until your dentist performs an exam. Schedule a consultation today by calling our office or booking an appointment online now.