Decayed teeth in need of repair are often best fixed with a traditional dental filling. In order to complete a filling, the dentist will need to first remove areas of decayed tooth, and then the area around the decay will have to be cleaned. Once that is complete, the dentist can fill the area with a special material that will form itself to the shape of the cavity and the surrounding tooth tissue.
The purpose of a filling is to eliminate a hole or cavity that can easily trap food particles and bacteria. When bacteria become trapped, it leads to tissue decay. There are many types of filling material available including porcelain, gold, composite resin and amalgam. All of these types work equally well depending on the type of cavity to be filled and its location. You may also find that some materials can cause a reaction depending on your tolerance for certain metals.
Fillings made of gold are fabricated in a lab setting and then cemented into the tooth by your dentist after they have been shaped. Gold fillings are highly regarded as durable and they are often seen as the best filling material, but they are expensive and may require several visits to your dentist to get the fitting just right. A less expensive alternative to gold fillings is silver fillings. They are also durable but they tend to be dark in color and more visibly noticeable to others.
If you want maximum invisibility, composite or porcelain fillings are the best choice. Composite fillings can be color matched to your existing teeth. This material is used by mixing special materials together, which will eventually harden, but while soft and pliable, the material can be applied to your cavity to fill it. After the material hardens in place, it can be shaped as necessary to ensure they are smooth and free of any voids that can trap food and bacteria. Composite fillings have a reputation for being durable for many years but for large fillings, they can pose a risk because of their propensity to chip.
Porcelain is another common filling material and, like gold, it is fabricated in a lab to match the color of your teeth. They are very resistant to staining and not very noticeable to others, but one of the drawbacks of porcelain fillings is that they are more expensive than other types of fillings.
At Brenham Family Dentistry we have years of experience in making decisions for our patients about fillings. When you come to us for a routine checkup and/or teeth cleaning, we will inspect your teeth and use special instruments to determine if you have any cavities in need of attention. We can then determine the best approach for filling the cavity depending on the size of the cavity and your budget. Call us today for a cleaning appointment. Our friendly staff of dentists and hygienists will ensure that your visit is as comfortable and pain free as possible.