Cavities caused by minor tooth decay are one of the more common dental issues. Most cavities are found during routine dental checkups.
Filling a cavity is a simple treatment that involves the dentist numbing the affected area before removing the decayed enamel.
There are four different filling materials to choose from. Whichever one is best for your particular tooth can vary depending on where the tooth is in your smile and the primary function of that tooth.
Gold fillings are strong and durable. The dentist will take an impression of the filling and send it to a laboratory where the filling will be custom made. You will then need a follow-up appointment to cement the filling into place. Gold fillings are rarely ever used on teeth that are in the front of your smile and they can oftentimes be expensive.
Silver amalgam fillings are durable and affordable. Because of their dark color, amalgam fillings are used for the back teeth.
Composite resin fillings are mixed and placed during the initial procedure. They can be made to match the color of the surrounding enamel. Composite fillings are not as durable as other materials and can be prone to staining if you use tobacco products or if you frequently drink dark beverages, like coffee and tea, but they can provide natural-looking results for many years.
Porcelain inlays are stronger than composite fillings but can also provide natural-looking results. The dentist will take an impression of the filling and send it to a laboratory where the filling will be custom made. You will then need a follow-up appointment to cement the filling into place.
Your dentist can answer any additional questions you might have about what filling material is right for you and how to successfully restore the health of your tooth.