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Everything You Need to Know About Dental Fillings

Did you know that dental fillings are some of the most common procedures you can have in a dental office? From a cracked tooth filling to more permanent repairs, knowing what to expect can make your appointment much easier.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings repair teeth damaged by decay. When your dentist identifies a cavity, they clear out the area and fill it with a strong substance that helps your tooth function properly and prevents further decay.

What Does a Filling Look Like?

Before you slide into the dentist’s chair, you probably want to know what is filling the hole left by your cavity. Dentists use different types of tooth fillings, and they all have pros and cons.

  • Amalgam fillings, also known as silver tooth fillings, remain the cheapest and most durable option. These fillings use different metals to make them strong, but they tend to be noticeable due to their dark coloring.
  • Composite tooth fillings work well for smaller or mid-sized repairs and are rather durable. By using resins with glass or quartz, you get tooth colored fillings that aren’t as noticeable.
  • Metal fillings can be gold or silver amalgam. That said, gold fillings cost significantly more than silver fillings and aren’t as durable.
  • Ceramic fillings are also tooth-colored. Usually, they are porcelain fillings that don’t show stains as well, but they can be expensive.
  • Glass Ionomer fillings use a special blend of acrylic and glass. While this type of filling releases fluoride to help protect teeth, it doesn’t last as long as the other options.

You may want to choose tooth-colored or off-white fillings for teeth that show when you smile or speak. On the other hand, metal fillings tend to last longer and hold up better for larger areas and those that handle most of your chewing.

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