If you’ve never gotten a cavity, you have my congratulations! But if so, then you aren’t the only victim. Nearly 78 percent of people got one or more cavities by age seventeen, according to a U.S. Surgeon General’s report from 2000. Luckily, a well-studied and very successful cavity solution was invented: dental fillings.
Dental fillings accomplish exactly what it sounds like, the fill-up holes in the teeth, otherwise known as a cavity, which is triggered by decay. Therefore, decay (which is an infection caused by bacteria) can't spread into the tooth any further.
This is vital because if a cavity is left untreated, the damage can continue until it infects the delicate inner pulp, it’s nerve tissue, which is found in the tooth’s root canal area. If that occurs, the patient would have to get a root canal.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are two wide-ranging dental filling categories, which include those that are the same color as teeth and those made of metal. Each of these has its own set of pros and depending on the circumstances.
Fillings Made of Metal
Amalgam — Amalgam has been used for more than a hundred years and is the old standard silver-colored dental filling material. It is a blend of the metals mercury, tin, copper, and silver.
The mercury is mixed with the rest of the ingredients so it will be safer and more stable. Amalgam fillings are very sturdy and low-cost; however, they are very conspicuous and comparatively more preparation, i.e., more drilling, is needed over other kinds.
Cast Gold — This type of filling costs the most of any other dental filling material. It is a mix of cast gold, which is gold mixed with additional kinds of metals in order to give it a sturdy, long-term ability. It’s also quite obvious, which could be said to be a pro or a con.
Fillings that Match Teeth Color
Composite — This is a prevalent pick for people who don’t want others to notice their fillings. It’s a mix of glass and plastic, and it completely bonds to the tooth being repaired.
One con is that it costs more than amalgam dental fillings, but a pro is it holds up about the same amount of time. Plus, you don’t have to endure as many teeth drilling prep as you do with amalgam fillings.
Porcelain — This is an advanced dental filling material that is sturdy, doesn’t stain like some kinds of composites, and it is very natural looking. However, it can be pricy since a dental lab or some other specialized kind of computer-created technology might be required. Plus, it tends to be very brittle since there is a lot of glass in it, although pro is that it is very aesthetic and blends in with the rest of the teeth better.
Glass Ionomer — This is made with a mix of glass powders, and acrylic One pro is that it is cheaper. It also is translucent, so tends to blend indecently with a person’s normal teeth color. Plus, it expels tiny fluoride doses, which keep away decay. A con, however, is that it usually is not as long lasting as some other kinds of dental fillings.
Things to Expect When You Get a Filling
After a patient gets a dental filling, there are several things that are likely to happen. First, the numb feeling created by the local anesthetic ought to go away in one or two hours.
You should not drink anything hot or cold until the feeling comes back, as well as be sure not to eat using that side of the mouth where you got the filling done.
There could also be a bit of sensitivity when you drink or eat anything cold or hot for a few days, and that is normal. But if it lingers more than a few days, or there is a real pain when eating, you may need to go back to the dentist for a filling adjustment.
Keep brushing and flossing the teeth normally each day. Go to your dentist every six months or as prescribed to get a checkup and a cleaning.
Don’t forget that it’s simple to prevent your teeth from rotting! Just maintain good oral cleanliness, always go to the dentist, and then you will have no more cavities!
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