Dental Care Blog

Doug Klein DDS, Grandville MI

Fillings For Your Teeth: What Are Your Options?

If at your most recent visit to the dentist, he or she your dentist gave you the news that you had a cavity, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the CDC, among adults aged 20-64, 91% had cavities and 27% had untreated tooth decay.

The good news is that there are more types of fillings for teeth today than ever before.

Options for dental fillings from Klein Dentistry Office in Grandville MI

Types Of Fillings

The type of filling that’s best for you will be determined by the location and extent of the decay, cost of filling material, and your dentist’s recommendation.

The Most Common Filling Options Are Listed Below:

Composite Resin

A composite resin filling is most often made of powdered glass and acrylic resin, and the filling can be shaded to match the color of a person’s existing teeth. This makes it much less visible and is a great option for people who want natural-looking smiles. Because composite resin chemically bonds to tooth structure, it can be a very durable and requires less extensive removal of natural tooth for strength.

Placing composite resin fillings is very technique sensitive and time consuming, and the material is more expensive. These factors make making them more expensive than dental amalgam.

Improvements in composite resins have made their durability comparable to dental amalgam, but they may be best suited for teeth that experience a moderate amount of pressure when chewing, compared to teeth that handle the bulk of your chewing action.

Resin Or Glass Ionomer

These are similar to composite resin fillings in cost and application with one major advantage – they release fluoride from the filling, making them an excellent choice for patients at high risk for tooth decay. While an excellent choice in the right situation, glass ionomer tends to be less durable than composite resin and doesn’t mimic natural esthetics as well.

Gold Inlay

When it comes to dental fillings, gold inlays are probably the most durable and long-lasting option. The ADA even noted that it can remain effective for more than two decades. Many people also prefer the look of gold to silver.

However, it comes at a price, and gold inlays are the most expensive of your options. They will also require at least two office visits to place, meaning you’ll spend more time in the dentist’s chair.

Porcelain Inlay

These are similar to gold inlays in durability, expense and time spent in the dentist’s chair. Porcelain is essentially hardened glass, so the inlays may be more prone to chipping than gold, but their ability to replicate natural beauty and their strength make them a very popular choice.

Dental Amalgam

These are what you might consider to be the classic option. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this type of filling has been safely used by dentists for more than 150 years. As the name suggests, amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals.

Typically, they are comprised of tin, copper, silver or zinc. Mercury is used as a binding agent and forms an insoluble inorganic salt upon complete setting. They’re strong, long-lasting, and often are the least expensive option.

They’re silver in color to start and tend to become darker with time — in other words, they can be seen when you open your mouth. And while the FDA has repeatedly determined dental amalgams to be a reliable, cost-effective and safe material, the use of mercury as the binding agent remains controversial.

What’s Involved In Filling A Tooth?

Once you make your appointment for your dental filling, you should expect to be at your dentist’s office for around an hour. During this time your dentist will take X-rays if needed, talk to you about the procedure you’re about to undergo, and complete the dental work.

Before your cavity is filled, your dentist will numb your teeth, gums, and surrounding skin to avoid and lessen discomfort during the procedure. Next, he or she will remove the decay in the tooth and replace it with a filling, which only takes a few minutes.

Once you’re done, expect your mouth to remain numb for a few more hours. While there aren’t many risks associated with cavities, be sure to note any concerns you have after the procedure and let the team at Klein Dentistry know about any problems.

Call Klein Dentistry In Grandville MI To Schedule An Appointment For Your Next Filling

To learn more about how we can help you with your dental fillings, contact us anytime. We’d love to learn more about your unique situation and find a treatment plan that’s right for you.