A dental filling is the most common dental solution to repair and restore your teeth from decay or cavity. If you have a cavity in your tooth, the dentist will remove it and fill your tooth with plastic, metal, or other materials.
Dental fillings are used to fill your tooth after removal of the decayed part even if the decay is not very deep to prevent your tooth from breaking, cracking, or getting a cavity again.
This is an easy and simple procedure that requires 30 to 60 minutes to complete unless the situation of your tooth is more complex than it seems to be.
What are Tooth Colored Fillings?
Dental fillings are materials used to fill the space of your tooth after the removal of the cavity. Your dentist uses the best material or combinations of materials like metals, plastics, gold, or other materials. Many times fillings are used to fill and repair the broken or cracked teeth that are damaged because of injuries or misuse.
What Materials are Used in Dental Filling?
A dental filling is made from several materials including gold, porcelain, composite resin fillings, tooth-colored plastics, and silver amalgam. The life of a dental filling depends on the material used. Your filling may also last depending on the extent of the decays and location. Usually, your dentist will recommend the filling material based on the need, your insurance coverage, cost of filling, and your preferences.
Some materials may last longer than others, like gold filing might last for 10 to 15 years but it is comparatively more expensive than other materials.
- The silver filling is a cheaper option than gold and lasts for 10 to 15 years. It requires more area of the tooth to be removed for a silver filling to get hold of the space, crack, or hole. It should be avoided for tooth fractures and cracks as the material contracts and expands, as well as if you are allergic to the material.
- Composite resin materials are colored to match your other teeth.
- Porcelain or ceramics filling is stain resistant and lasts more than 15 years, but they are costly.
- A composite filling is a tooth-colored material that may cost twice as much as a silver filling, last 5 to 15 years, and takes more visits to the dentist to adjust.
- Glass ionomer is used to fill the bottom gum line and protect your tooth from decaying further. It costs the same as composite fillings and lasts less than 5 years.
Temporary vs Permanent Filling?
If your dental procedure requires more than one appointment your dentist might place a temporary filling in your tooth. Especially, in the root canal treatment, your dentist will remove the decayed part, open the root of your tooth, remove the pulp and nerve, and clean up the tooth area. Then, the dentist needs to close this opening via temporary filling, because the procedure is still incomplete. In the next visit, the dentist needs to open the filling again and continue the treatment.
A temporary filling is removed much more easily and protects your tooth/ gums from food and bacteria, while the dental procedure is in process. When the root canal procedure is completed your dentist will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. As the temporary filling lasts a month or less it can lead to infections if you do not get it replaced with the permanent filling.