Dental fillings are regularly checked each time you go for a dental examination. Fillings are checked to find out if they are broken or loose. They are also examined for any signs of decay, like brown or black spots. Dentists may also recommend the use of x-rays so they further examine your fillings.
What are Dental Fillings?
They are placed into your tooth to prevent further damage to your tooth as a result of cavities. There are two types of dental fillings. The first one is direct and it goes directly into the cavity. But this is only done after your dentist has cleaned out cavities and decay. Direct fillings can be amalgam and plastic. They are commonly used because they harden quickly. They can be easily placed in one appointment.
The second type of dental filling is indirect. Fillings of this type are crowns and inlays. They are not placed directly into your teeth after cleaning is done. They are first brought to the lab to be molded and shaped so they fit your tooth. Unlike direct fillings, they take more than just one appointment to complete. In some patients, they have to visit their dentist more than three times to complete the procedure.
Why Are Dental Fillings Necessary?
Our bodies do have an amazing self-repair ability. When you break a bone, your body heals it by producing new cells to glue it back together. But this is not the case with your teeth. We have two sets of teeth in our life. The first set is temporary and the second is permanent. When the first set is gone, it will be replaced with a permanent set. However, when a permanent tooth is damaged, it cannot be replaced by your body. Rather, it requires the help of your dentist to repair it.
Modern dentistry has found a way to keep bacteria from causing more harm to your teeth. To maintain the health of your teeth, the bacteria simply have to be professionally removed on a regular basis. To replace the hole in your tooth caused by these bacteria or cavities, your dentist will place a tooth-like material, i.e. dental filling.
Amalgam Dental Fillings
Amalgam is the most popular filling and it has been used for more than 180 years in general and cosmetic dentistry. The metals in amalgam form a soft material when they are mixed together. This soft material is now used to repair your tooth back so it can go back to its almost original form. Some dentists are now avoiding themselves from using amalgam while others are still using it for dental filling treatment.
They do avoid amalgam because it is made of pure mercury. We all know that mercury is toxic. However, the mercury inside it is locked once the filling is hardened. There are some studies showing that this material is safe. While others, do oppose. It is really up to your dentist what material is best for your condition.
They are newer than the first type of filling. Its consistency is the same as the modeling clay. For it to harden, however, your dentist uses a bright blue light on it. The light will cause chemical reactions in the filling causing the resin to harden and become a strong material. The great thing about composite filling is that it looks almost the same as your natural tooth.
Which Of The Two Fillings Are Right For You?
This will depend on your condition. Usually, amalgam is placed for teeth found at the back while the composite resin is used for the front teeth.
Since the majority of biting forces are on the back teeth, amalgam fillings are usually recommended as they are stronger. Composite fillings tend to wear down faster than amalgam. Plus, they require replacement more often.
Apart from that, composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings. Thus, if budget is an issue, it may be best for you to opt for amalgam. However, if you do not want to see filling in your mouth, you may opt for a composite filling.
The type of dental fillings will really depend on your condition. You should consult and talk to Dr. Hildebrandt as to which one is better for your case.