Fillings are needed when tooth decay ruins part of the protective enamel covering a tooth, creating the feared dental “cavity”. Leaving decay alone is never recommended as it will make things worse, leading to tooth ache, root canal therapy or pulling the tooth. New techniques in pain management and filling preparation make this a simple and quick dental process.
There are a variety of options when it comes to types of fillings. Composite fillings feature the benefit of matching the color of your enamel. Where composites cannot be employed, which is not often, repairing your tooth is easier than ever with the traditional and economical amalgam filling. Finally, ionomer fillings are, like composites, a nearly invisible option that is used to repair non-chewing surfaces. Here are more details about how our Auburn dentist, Dr. Matson, administers these filling materials.
What Types of Fillings Can You Choose From?
There are multiple materials from which to choose to fill a cavity. When you meet with your Auburn dentist, he will help determine which type is best for you based on the needs of your tooth, any allergies you may have and your preferred budget. Here are the 3 most common types of fillings we regularly work with:
Composite fillings are made of a glass or quartz material mixed with a tooth-colored resin. The composite material bonds to your tooth. Therefore with composites a filling requires less drilling. Where possible, Dr. Matson applies composite fillings.
Ionomer fillings are opaque and tooth-colored, made by compounding acrylics with glass powders. For patients with serious difficulties with tooth decay, ionomers are available that release protective fluoride over time. Some deem ionomer less esthetic than composite, but for many the match is nearly identical.
Dental amalgam blends silver, tin, copper, mercury and other metals. It is a historic restoration used in dentistry for many years. Whenever practical, this restoration is no longer employed, due to its heavy metal content and potential long-term health issues. All fillings need repair after a certain period of time, but this is especially true with amalgam.
Which Type of Filling is for You?
Your Auburn dentist, Dr. Matson, is happy to evaluate your needs to help determine the most effective filling for you. Do you think you may have a cavity? Don’t wait! Contact us today to schedule an exam. We will let you know all of your options so you can make a well informed decision and protect your oral health for the long term!