Cavities are permanently destroyed sections in the tooth’s hard surface, leading to the development of tiny holes or openings. According to the CDC, caries or tooth decay affects one in four adults aged 20-64 in America. Pearland general and cosmetic dentistry can help when you have cavities. Without quick treatment of tooth decay, you risk a worsening condition that can destroy your teeth’s deeper layers. The focus of general and cosmetic dentistry is on preventing and treating tooth decay and improving the overall aesthetic appearance of the teeth.
Dental fillings are one of the popular methods for treating tooth decay or cavities. You can compare fillings to the cement or asphalt road builders use to fill in potholes to deliver an even, smooth road. You may need dental fillings because your teeth suffer from wear and tear due to frequent sipping of acidic drinks, reduced saliva production, tooth grinding, nail-biting, and eating hard foods or objects.
The fillings your dentist recommends for you will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the damage, the location of the tiny holes in the teeth, and the filling material you can afford. However, remember that dental fillings cannot save your tooth from a substantial cavity that has left only a tiny part of the enamel or dentin. Consequently, below are the dental filling options available at your dentist’s disposal and their pros and cons.
1. Gold fillings
Gold fillings have been used for over 3,500 years.
Although gold fillings may not be pleasing to look at, they can last longer than other dental fillings. Fillings made from gold can last 15 to 30 years because they can withstand your frequent chewing or grinding action and avoid corroding with elements available in your mouth.
Even if you need to use a few cast gold fillings, you will discover that they are more costly than other dental fillings. For instance, gold cast fillings are up to ten times more expensive than silver fillings.
2. Silver Fillings (Amalgams)
The fillings comprise silver and other materials like mercury, copper, and zinc.
Silver fillings are more durable, lasting up to 15 years, compared to composite fillings. Moreover, silver fillings are relatively more affordable than composite and gold cast fillings.
Fillings made from silver and other metals come with a color that does not aesthetically blend with the teeth’s natural color. Therefore, your dentist may prefer to install amalgam fillings at the back of your mouth, making them invisible when you smile.
Also, several studies show that the mercury in silver fillings can get into your lungs as vapor through breathing. As a result, the toxic metal may damage your brain and kidneys.
3. Composite fillings
Also called tooth-colored fillings, composite fillings are dental restorations designed to match your teeth’ natural color and shade.
Composite fillings are more aesthetically appealing than amalgam or gold fillings. Thus, you can use the dental solution in the visible parts of your teeth.
Composite fillings are susceptible to degradation quickly due to constant exposure to biting and chewing forces, and thus they can only last about five years.
Contact TLN Family Dental today to schedule an appointment with general and cosmetic dentistry specialists.