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Beginner’s Guide to Dental Fillings

Dental Cleanings & Exams 1 in Montgomery, AL by Dr. Chet Swartzentruber of Carmichael Dental Care

Almost everyone will get at least one cavity in their life. That’s why dental fillings are one of the most common dental restorations we use in our office. The good news is, treatment with fillings is simple and affordable. Depending on the type of filling used, insurance may cover part or even all of your procedure.

Check out our blog for more information on dental fillings. Our dentists will help you choose the right one for your situation. If you suspect you have a cavity, give us a call today at 334-600-1423.

Find Out More About Types of Dental Fillings

There are several types of dental fillings available. The material used typically depends on the location and extent of the decay, as well as your insurance coverage and our professional recommendation. One option is metal fillings.

Two kinds of metal fillings are:

  • Cast Gold Fillings – Cast gold is a popular material for fillings because it typically lasts a minimum of 10-15 years and doesn’t corrode. It’s also incredibly strong and some people like the look of it. However, cast gold tends to cost more than other filling materials and usually takes more than one visit to the office to place. Also, many people don’t like that colored fillings are more obvious than tooth-colored ones.
  • Silver Fillings (Amalgams) – Silver fillings, also called amalgam, are another popular option. They typically last at least 10-15 years and are also strong. Silver fillings are typically more cost-effective than other kinds of fillings. But like gold fillings, amalgam doesn’t match the color of your natural teeth and is more obvious. Amalgam fillings also tend to require more of your tooth be removed to make room for the restoration. Over time they can expand and contract, potentially causing cracks in the tooth.

Composite Is a More Discreet Option for Dental Fillings

Tooth-colored composite fillings are another common option. These dental fillings are particularly suitable for the front teeth or parts of your teeth that are visible because they can be closely matched to the color of your teeth.

Tooth-colored composite fillings are also chemically bonded to the tooth to provide further support. Typically, less tooth structure needs to be removed for composite fillings than for other types.

Some disadvantages of composite fillings include:

  • They typically wear out sooner than other types.
  • They typically require more time to apply
  • They are more prone to chipping than other types
  • They are more expensive than amalgam fillings (though less than gold)

Receiving a Filling Is a Simple Procedure

Before we get started with the filling process, we will numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. We will then remove the decayed portion of the tooth and thoroughly clean it to remove any leftover bacteria and debris. If necessary, we apply a liner to protect the nerve of your tooth if the decay has reached the part of your tooth near the root. We will then fill the tooth, trim off any excess, and polish the filling to finish.

Think you may need dental fillings? Contact Carmichael Dental at 334-600-1423 to see how we can help you.

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