October 1, 2012
In order to avoid oral health problems, the practice of good oral hygiene habits is necessary to remove food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Most of us do our best to care for our teeth but still suffer from some degree of tooth decay. Injuries can also occur and leave our teeth damaged. At our Bridgeport cosmetic dentistry practice, DeJesus Dental Group, dental fillings can be applied to repair damaged teeth.
Dental Filling Uses
Dental fillings are most commonly used to fill dental cavities, or pockets of tooth decay. Some may not realize that dental fillings can also be used to repair teeth that are cracked or broken, or teeth that are worn down due to habits such as nail biting and teeth grinding. A dental filling is placed within the tooth to replace damaged material and allow the tooth to return to its natural function. After a tooth has been cleaned of tooth decay, it will need to be filled and sealed for protection.
The most common type of metal filling is silver amalgam. Silver amalgam fillings appeal to some patients because they are made of a strong and durable material. They offer the benefit of being one of the longest lasting filling options, as well as one of the most affordable. There are some drawbacks to silver fillings that should be considered as well. The obvious drawback is the silver color. Metal fillings do not blend in with your natural tooth color and are likely to draw attention to the treated area. Silver fillings also preserve less of the natural tooth than tooth-colored fillings and are susceptible to cracks or fractures; this could make the tooth more vulnerable to breakage in the future, and may result in the tooth needing a crown at some point in the future.
Tooth-colored fillings are fabricated to match the color of your natural teeth.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Retention of tooth material: Composite fillings preserve more tooth structure than silver amalgam fillings.
- Bonding: Composite fillings offer more support for your tooth because they create a chemical bond with your natural tooth material.
- Aesthetics: Composite fillings can be made to closely match the color of your tooth, offering a more visually appealing option over metal fillings.
Disadvantages of Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Cost: Most insurance companies will not cover the added cost of tooth-colored fillings so the expense needs to be covered by the patient.
- Damage: Tooth-colored fillings are more likely to be damaged or chipped when exposed to the pressure of biting.
- Durability: Composite fillings do not last as long as amalgam fillings. You can expect composite fillings to last at least five years.
Alternatives to Dental Fillings
When damage or tooth decay is severe, a dental filling will not be enough to restore the function of the tooth. For more damaged teeth, we may recommend to our patients in Bridgeport dental crowns to be placed over the damaged tooth. Our staff can let you know more about this service.
Schedule an Appointment
To see if dental fillings can be used to repair damage or tooth decay for you, schedule an appointment with our staff at DeJesus Dental Group. We look forward to meeting you!