Tooth filling or restorative treatment is one of the dental treatments that is used for retaining the beauty and efficiency of the teeth. Dental fillings are used for restoring tooth decay, fracture or slight erosion, and superficial damages. One of the common complications caused by tooth decay is the destruction of the enamel that can lead to increasing the sensitivity of your tooth. Dental fillings can have a considerable impact on the treatment of these cases. However, in some cases due to the type of the problem additional treatments are required.
In case tooth filling is required, there are many options for the dentist to choose for dental fillings, however, the dentist will select the best option considering the location of the tooth, its cost, and the insurance coverage of the patient. Here we will explain various types of dental fillings. Different types of dental fillings are selected by the dentist or the restorative specialist based on the amount of decay, location, and efficiency of the tooth.
Composite Dental Fillings
Composites are very popular with patients due to the tooth-colored dental filling composites that make it difficult to recognize them. The dental composite materials are not expensive but they must be changed after 5 years, besides, these materials are not highly durable metals. Composites are more expensive than amalgam but cheaper than gold. It is recommended to use tooth-colored composites for filling the front teeth. Composite fillings are very strong and provide better coverage for the margins and surroundings of the tooth. These filings are hard and a composite filling in the proper place can last for several years. The price of composite material is higher than amalgam, therefore, composite fillings cost more than amalgam fillings. On the other hand, the technique for using composite is more complex, and placing them on the teeth is time-consuming.
Silver Amalgam Dental Fillings
Silver amalgam has a similar quality to the gold filling but it costs less. However, most people do not like their appearance. Besides, silver amalgam results in tooth fracture due to its expansion or contraction in reaction to other filling materials. Therefore, it is not recommended to use silver amalgam for dental fillings, especially the front teeth that are important in your appearance.
Gold Dental Fillings
Filling the teeth with gold has more durability and no erosion. It usually lasts for up to 15 years. Most people choose gold filling, despite the fact that the gold filling can cost 10 times more than silver amalgam. Filling with gold should be carried out in more than one session.
Ceramic Materials Dental Fillings
Ceramic materials are mostly porcelain. These materials are beautiful and have high durability. However, since they can become uneven over time, they are coated with a cover. These materials can be used for filling all types of teeth, either front or back. Besides their resistance, these fillings are beautiful and no one can recognize the patient’s dental fillings.
These materials normally last less than 5 years, however, they can be a great choice for children since their teeth are still developing. Furthermore, they can produce fluoride that can prevent teeth decay. Keeping children’s milk teeth for the proper amount of time is important and these materials are recommended for filling the milk teeth (deciduous teeth).
Is Dental Filling Process Dangerous?
To answer the question of whether dental fillings are harmful to our health or not, we must say that there have been no reports of such problems. Therefore, until the time the industry introduces a new alternative for dental fillings, it is recommended to use these materials. Washing your mouth and teeth after the filling procedure removes these harmful materials from your mouth to a great extent. In case the patient does not consume any food after 30 minutes there will be no problem in this regard.
Dental Fillings Cost
The cost of teeth filling procedure depends on the type of filling materials. Obviously, gold dental fillings cost more than amalgam, besides, composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings due to their complex procedure and expensive materials used for this procedure.
Therefore, the price of dental fillings depends on the following factors:
- The location of the tooth that is to be filled.
- The method used by the dentist for filling
- Patient’s insurance
- The amount of cavity
Teeth Filling Durability
The amalgam fillings are expected to last for approximately 12 years, which is 5 to 7 years for composite fillings. The durability of the dental crown depends on observing dental hygiene.
Dental Fillings FAQ
1-How Long Do Fillings Take for Tooth Cavities?
Many factors affect this procedure. Including the size of the hole or fracture, location of the tooth, type of the tooth, and the size of the cavity.
2-How Many Teeth Can Be Filled in One Session?
It depends on the size of the cavity and the patient’s tolerance in keeping their mouth open. In fact, if there are more than one hole in the same region (e.g. on the right side of the maxilla), the dentist can fill more than one tooth at the same session.
3-Does Dental Fillings Hurt?
You can hardly feel anything at the time of filling the tooth. By injecting anesthesia, the patient will not fill the pain.
4-Does Dental Fillings Require Injection?
To ensure that you feel no pain, the dentist applies anesthesia on your teeth and the area surrounding them. They use a topical gel or local anesthesia, which is carried out through injection. This injection is like a small hole. Some dentists use Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas for the sake of their patient’s comfort.
5-How Can I Know that My Fillings Need to Be Replaced?
There are symptoms that can help you know whether your fillings should be replaced or not, i.e. the fillings are cracked, toothache, feeling pain when eating or drinking, the color of your old fillings have changed, and the fillings are damaged.
6-Does Teeth Whitening Work with Fillings?
The dental fillings and resin composite fillings (crown, connector, bridge) used for the restoration of teeth cannot be whitened.
7-How Long Does a Dental Filling Last?
Gold fillings last longer, i.e. from 15 to 30 years. Amalgam fillings last for 10 to 15 years. However, resin composite dental fillings are less durable than amalgam fillings.
8-What Materials Should be Used for Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings include gold, silver amalgam (a combination of mercury, silver, and other metals), and composite materials.
9-Is It Safe to Use Temporary Fillings?
The temporary fillings are not supposed to last for a long time. They come out, break, or erode after 1 month. Contact your dentist to replace your temporary fillings with permanent fillings.