Dentistry, General Dentistry, Oral Health
Dental fillings have been used in dentistry for more than a century and have helped lots of patients in restoring smiles. Usually, dentists would need fillings to cover up a damaged tooth due to decay. After a root canal therapy, the treated site is supplied with a filling material that keeps it protected from further infection. There are tooth decay stages that need specific treatment and filling so you might as well know your options.
However, a spur of concern started when patients realized that some filling materials contain mercury. Most recognize mercury as a harmful substance and it is actually found in amalgam and tooth-coloured fillings.
To close out this issue, dentists were firm in announcing that although amalgam has mercury content, it is totally safe. The amount of mercury is almost insubstantial and it’s also mixed with other metals. Furthermore, the substance is a vital component to create a durable silver filling. The only drawback with amalgam materials is their appearance which can be obvious.
Another type of dental filling is made of cast gold. This material is one of the most expensive and most durable in the market. It could last up to 15 years or more. It doesn’t corrode or get broken easily even if it’s used for the molars where the chewing force is greater. Just like the metal type fillings, gold material can also be distracting due to its colour. However, some patients find it more pleasing than amalgam.
Composite fillings are also called tooth-coloured fillings or white fillings because they match the shade of a natural teeth colour. Sometimes, dentists could also mould it to appear natural with creases and grooves. Also, patients like this material better than the other types since it’s more affordable and still durable.
The fillings made of ceramics have multiple benefits as compared to the other types. Like white fillings, ceramic dental fillings are aesthetically-pleasing and stain-resistant. Moreover, they’re quite durable that may last for more than 15 years. Yet they could also be costly.
Recently, dentistry has introduced a new type of tooth fillings which actually release fluoride to protect the tooth from further decay. This is best suited for younger patients and those who need fillings below the gum line. Despite its advantages, it’s less durable than the tooth-coloured fillings. It’s prone to breakage and may need replacement after 5 years.
You don’t need to worry or be confused about all the options that you have to choose. Just make sure that you consult your dentist to know which filling would be best for your teeth.
Sharky Liu is the founder and CEO of DentistFind, a results-driven dental marketing platform and marketing service that applies an analytical and data-based approach to increase new patient acquisition for dental practices.