White or Silver Dental Fillings

What is a Filling?
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

Which Type of Filling is best?
No one type of filling is best for everyone. What's right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Different materials include:
• Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.

• Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations, so they are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.

• Composite (plastic) resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.

Fillings can be made from the time tested Amalgam (Silver) material or they can be made with the newer tooth colored Composite material. There has been some controversy over amalgam fillings mercury content but you would probably get as much mercury from eating a couple of lobsters as you would from the filling. Amalgam fillings have the best track record for not leaking ie ( hairline separarting from the tooth). Composite fillings are more cosmetic as they can be matched to the eaxact shade of your tooth but they should be checked yearly for leakage. The new generations of composite fillings have a good track record so far.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated in two ways: through root canal therapy (in which nerve damaged nerve is removed) or through a procedure called pulp capping (which attempts to keep the nerve alive).

What Happens when you get a Filling?
If your dentist decides to fill a cavity, he or she will first remove the decay and clean the affected area. The cleaned-out cavity will then be filled with any of the variety of materials described above.

How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Only your dentist can detect whether you have a cavity that needs to be filled. During a checkup, your dentist will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth.

Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. Your dentist may also X-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.



Arizona Dental Service, Inc.
1629 E. University Drive
Mesa, Arizona 85203
(480) 835-1536
Click for map

 

Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00AM - 5:00PM, Closed Fridays, Saturday by Appointment

Serving dental patients the Mesa, AZ area, including Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert & Fountain Hills.



All pages copyright © 2011 - Arizona Dental Service, Inc. & PhoenixMetro.com
Website designed & maintained by PhoenixMetroSEO.com