Most people will need a filling at some point in their lives. It can be a bit disappointing to hear the dentist say, “Looks like you need a filling,” and many patients are left wondering where they may have have gone wrong in their dental care routine. But never fear, the professionals at Elk Grove’s Case Dental Group are here!
You need fillings when the enamel around a tooth has broken down and decay develops. This is called a cavity. If you leave the cavity alone and hope it goes away, the opposite happens. The cavity usually gets worse and more painful, so ignoring a cavity is never a good idea. Cavities are easy to fix nowadays and it’s pretty painless.
Most of the time, the dentists and the Case Dental Group use composite fillings because they match the color of your teeth, making the filling unnoticeable. In rare cases, composites are not be used, so amalgam silver-colored fillings are used instead. This can depend on your insurance coverage and where the filling is needed in your mouth. For example, amalgam is occasionally used for the back teeth. Ionomer fillings may also be an option if you have a cavity in the front of your mouth. Like composites, they do not stand out and look like the rest of your tooth. The friendly dentists at the Case Dental Group would be happy to discuss all your options with you.
Composite fillings have many advantages. Most patients like that the filling blends in with the rest of their teeth. Composite resin bonds to the tooth, it makes the tooth stronger and stands up to wear. Because they also don’t require as much drilling, composites easier to install when the dentist does the filling.
Ionomer fillings are also matched to the color of your teeth by combining acrylics and glass powder to make the filling less noticeable. They also have time-released fluoride, which is an advantage if a patient has extensive decay.
Dental amalgam is the traditional filling material and has been used for many years because it’s durable and cost-effective. Amalgam is a combination of silver and mercury with other metals. Many dentists now recommend replacing amalgam fillings with composites because of the high mercury content in amalgam.