Dentistry is one of the oldest professions known to man. In recent years dentists have made astounding leaps in care by introducing new materials designed for restorative dentistry.
Understanding how these materials affect your teeth can help ensure that you make the decision that restores your teeth in the best way possible.
Below are some tips to choose the right filling for your teeth.
1. Certain Filling Materials Can React with Saliva
Composite and silver amalgam fillings can react negatively in the mouth. The presence of saliva and the forces of chewing can cause this to happen.
Composite fillings tend to become brittle as they age, which means that they may only last three to five years before you must have them replaced.
Silver amalgam can expand with the repeated pressure that mastication puts upon teeth. They may also react negatively in the presence of saliva, which can lead to a premature failing of the seal they form with the tissue of teeth.
2. Some Teeth Fillings Cost More
Gold and ceramic fillings cost more than composite or silver amalgam fillings. While these may offer the best aesthetic options for fillings, they’re not as affordable for every patient.
For example, gold teeth fillings can cost as much as ten times the cost of silver amalgam fillings. They also require multiple visits to the dentist, which further inflates the cost.
Ceramic fillings require that your dentist craft them in the office or to send molds to a laboratory. These take time to produce, which means that they may take multiple visits to your dentist. Regardless of whether you choose Patrick M. Pitts, DDS or a dentist in your particular area, be sure to find out what the total cost will be before making a filling choice.
3. Understand that Durability Matters
Composite, ceramic and glass isomer fillings are made from materials that are more aesthetically pleasing and weaker than their metallic counterparts. This means that they will look better, but they may not have the durability to be used in every type of filling.
Balancing durability with aesthetics is where having an experienced dentist comes in handy. They’re aware that composite fillings aren’t durable enough to be used for areas like the chewing surface of molars, as they tend to fail prematurely due to a lack of durability.
4. How Much Healthy Tissue is Removed ?
Another concern with fillings is how much healthy tissue has to be removed. This can affect how long your fillings last.
For example, composite fillings tend to remove just a small amount of healthy tooth tissue because they bond to the healthy tissue that remains.
Metal fillings, which require preparation for the metal to sit, generally require more healthy tissue to be removed. This can increase the risk of the tooth fracturing, chipping, or breaking, which can lead to long-term complications beside a strong toothache.
5. Finding the Perfect Fillings for Your Teeth
While there are a number of filling materials available for dental restorations, they each have their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks.
The right filling can last a lifetime, while the wrong one can fail the first time that you chew. Choosing the perfect filling for your dental restoration requires that you work closely with an experienced dentist who cares about your needs.
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