What Is A Filling?
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When you get a filling, we first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Which Type of Filling is Best?
No one type of filling is best for everyone. What’s right for you will be determined by the extent of the repair, whether you have allergies to certain materials, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and the cost. Considerations for different materials include:
- Amalgam (silver) Fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas, such as front teeth.
- Composite (plastic) Resins are matched to be the same color as your teeth and therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden.
- Porcelain Fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended.
If you are interested in learning more about fillings or to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to call us at 410-643-5500 or click here to request an appointment.