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Dental Restoration: 5 Different Types of Tooth Fillings
Fixing a decayed tooth is a necessary dental restoration procedure. The dentist needs to clean out the decayed area, which leaves a cavity or hole in the tooth. Afterward, the hole will be filled with a dental filling to even out the tooth surface and make it look natural again. This article talks about the different types of tooth fillings used for dental restoration.
5 Types of tooth filling materials
Five types of materials are usually used to cover a hole caused by decay. They include:
1. Silver amalgam fillings
This is a popular filling. Silver amalgam filling contains more than silver — it is a combination of other minerals, including tin, zinc, copper and mercury. It is a common choice because it is sturdy, long-lasting and less pricey than other options. A normal silver amalgam filling can stand up to 12 years of use. Dentists find it easy to use because it is malleable.
The main drawback is that it is not aesthetically pleasing, so it is not the best choice for a visible tooth. The material can also respond to temperature changes by contracting and expanding, causing the tooth to crack. The fluctuations may create a gap between the filling and tooth, ushering in food and bacteria and the formation of new cavities. Despite the controversy surrounding mercury in silver amalgam, the filling material has been declared safe for use.
2. Composite fillings
Composite fillings are created from plastic and resin material. It is placed inside the tooth while it is soft and hardened with a bright curing light. It is a common option because it can be customized to match the color of the patient’s existing teeth, so it is not conspicuous as the silver amalgam filling. Also, composite fillings are not as long-lasting as some other types. They can survive from up to five to 10 years, after which a replacement might be required.
3. Ceramic fillings
They are created using porcelain material, which makes it both durable and cosmetically appealing. Ceramic fillings cost more than other fillings, but they are tooth-colored and resist stains and abrasion better than composite resin.
The drawback of using ceramic filling over composite is that it is more brittle and, therefore, has to be used on large cavities to prevent breakage. The dentist can enlarge the area to make room for the extra bulk.
4. Glass ionomer fillings
This filling is made from a mix of glass and acrylic. They are usually used for children whose teeth are still forming. They release fluoride into the tooth to protect it from additional decay. However, they only survive a few years because they are weaker than composite resin and are bound to crack or wear out. Regular glass ionomer is not natural-looking like composite resin is.
The bottom line
If you have tooth decay, you need to visit a dentist for dental restoration. The dentist will recommend the best type of filling to restore the tooth to its natural state.
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