Australian men and women have an average of 7-8 fillings, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. However, if you were to ask any number of those men and women with fillings if they knew what filling material their dentist used, many of them wouldn’t have a clue.
Believe it or not, there is more than one filling material available, and what works for you may not work for someone else. Let your dentist at Joondalup Dentist help you decide, but read on to learn what options the average person has. These may differ from one dental clinic to the next.
The Steps Involved in A Filling
Fillings are a proven treatment method for cavities and cracked and broken teeth. Your dentist will numb the area with local anaesthetic then remove the decayed area with an abrasion instrument, drill, or laser. The tooth is then cleaned of debris and bacteria before a liner is put in to protect your tooth’s nerve.
Each layer of the process undergoes curing to harden the filling material, before the final result is trimmed, shaped, and polished to suit.
Cast Gold Fillings
Cast gold fillings are an option that some dentists and patients consider. They can last for up to 15 years and sometimes even longer, and they can be pleasing on the eye when compared to silver amalgam fillings. They can be a bit more expensive than other filling options, however.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
For several years, silver amalgam fillings were the preferred option by many dentists. Today, they remain up there in terms of popularity. They can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, sometimes even longer, and they can withstand immense chewing pressure.
What’s more, they are one of the more affordable options for patients. However, silver amalgam fillings do not match your natural teeth colour, and they can also cause a slight greyish hue to neighbouring teeth.
In recent years, dentists and patients have shown a preference for composite fillings. They can match the colour of your natural teeth, and the material is also useful for repairing worn, broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, as well. Dentists also love how the composite material bonds micro-mechanically to teeth to provide structure and support.
Composite fillings can be a bit more expensive than silver ones, and they can lack the durability of amalgam fillings, as well.
Ceramic fillings fall into the same pricing bracket as gold fillings and are a less common option. Not all dentists will offer this type of filling. They feature porcelain material and last more than 15 years when taken care of.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Once again, glass ionomer fillings are not an option at all dental clinics. This type of filling is made with acrylic and glass and tends to be more of an option for fillings below the gum line and children. The glass ionomers release fluoride and cost around as much as a composite filling.
If you have a cavity, chip, crack, or break, it’s time to see your dentist. Make an appointment today, and find out what filling material they offer to suit your needs.