If you haven’t been brushing and flossing properly, or you’ve been eating too much gulab jamun, then cavities/holes will form in your teeth.
If we can catch the hole early while it is still small, we can usually fix the tooth with a filling. That is why we recommend coming in for regular check-ups and taking x-rays.
There are several types of dental fillings that we provide, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types are composite resin, porcelain, and gold fillings.
Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They have been used for over 150 years and are known for their durability and strength. Amalgam fillings are also relatively inexpensive compared to other types of fillings. However, some patients may be concerned about the small amount of mercury used in amalgam fillings, although studies have shown that the amount of mercury released is very low and not harmful.
Composite resin fillings are made of a tooth-colored material that is a mixture of resin and glass. They are highly aesthetic and can be made to match and blend in with the existing tooth. In the past, their structural properties were not as good as the old metal amalgams, but modern technology has lifted their attributes to be very durable and long lasting.
Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are made of a tooth-colored material that is similar to glass. They are custom-made in a dental lab and are often used for larger fillings. Porcelain fillings are more expensive than other types of fillings but are also more durable and can last for up to 20 years or more.
Gold fillings are made of a mixture of gold and other metals, such as silver or copper. They are very strong and durable, and they are also very expensive. Gold fillings are often used for back teeth or teeth that are not visible when smiling.
In addition to these types of fillings, there are also other materials that can be used for dental fillings such as glass ionomer, polymethyl methacrylate and zinc oxide. Each of these materials has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the type of filling that is best for a patient depends on several factors, including the size and location of the filling, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and their budget. Patients should discuss their options with their dentist to determine the best type of filling for their needs.
Amalgam fillings have been used for over 150 years and are considered safe by most dental professionals. The main concern with amalgam fillings is the mercury used in the filling material, which can raise concerns about the potential for toxicity.
However, numerous studies and reviews have found that the amount of mercury released from amalgam fillings is very low and not harmful to most people. The World Health Organization, the American Dental Association, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have all stated that amalgam fillings are safe for most people.
However, there’s no getting around the fact that dental amalgams are not very sightly and many people wish to have them removed for aesthetic purposes.
Other reasons to have them removed may include:
- recurrent decay detected under the filling.
- cracks in the teeth caused over many years by the expansion and contraction of the metal.
- advocates of ‘holistic therapy’ who may believe that the amalgam is impacting their health.
There are situations when it would not be advisable to have your old amalgams removed. The main one of these is where the old filling is very deep and large. Removing these may cause irreversible trauma to the tooth. This is usually assessed by means of an x-ray.
The lifespan of a dental filling depends on several factors, such as the type of filling material used, the size and location of the filling, and the patient’s oral hygiene habits. In general, dental fillings can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or more.
It is not uncommon for patients to experience sensitivity after getting a new dental filling. This sensitivity usually occurs when the tooth with the filling is exposed to hot or cold temperatures or pressure. The sensitivity should gradually decrease over time, but there are several reasons why a filling may be sensitive.
One possible reason for sensitivity is that the filling may be slightly too high, causing the tooth to hit the opposite tooth too hard when biting down. This can create pressure and sensitivity in the tooth. The dentist can adjust the filling to relieve the pressure and sensitivity.
Another possible reason is that the filling may be close to the nerve of the tooth, which can cause some temporary sensitivity. In this case, the sensitivity should gradually decrease over a few weeks.
Patients who experience sensitivity after a new filling should contact their dentist to discuss their symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.