Tooth decay is often referred to as a cavity. The enamel on the tooth is destroyed, which allows the underlying layers to be attacked by bacteria. When treating a cavity in a tooth, a dentist fills the area with a material, such as gold, silver amalgam or a tooth-colored composite filling. The type of material used for dental fillings depends on the location of the decay, your dentist’s recommendation and your budget.
Gold and silver amalgam (silver and mercury mixed together) are common materials used to fill cavities. These dental fillings are strong and durable. Both gold and silver fillings last 10 to 15 years and more. However, the dental fillings don’t match the tooth color, which can make them stand out in the mouth. Gold fillings are much more expensive than silver amalgam fillings.
Composite fillings are a type of plastic, made to bond to the tooth structure when used as a dental filling. This provides further support for the decayed tooth. The shade of the filling can be matched to the color of the teeth surrounding the cavity, making this type of filling well-suited for use in the front of the mouth. Check with your insurance company to find out what type of coverage you have for composite fillings.
Follow good dental hygiene for taking care of teeth with fillings. Brush teeth twice daily. Floss every day. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings. If the tooth becomes sensitive or you notice a crack in a dental filling, make an appointment with your dentist to have it checked out. Fillings can chip, crack or wear away over time. Fillings you received as a child may need to be replaced in your adult years.
Trust Dr. McIntyre with Clear Springs Family Dentistry in Kyle, TX to take care of your teeth. Make an appointment today for a cleaning and consultation for dental care for more confidence and a brighter smile. Call today.