Affordable Smiles Tucson • Low Cost Dental Fillings
I have a cavity and need a filling
A filling is a way to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When you get a filling, your dentist will first remove the portion of the tooth that has decay, 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 composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), porcelain, gold, and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Which type of filling should I get?
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.
Composite resin fillings
This is the most common type of filling today. This is also commonly referred to as a tooth-colored filling. This type of filling is matched to the same color as your teeth, and is used where a natural appearance is wanted. The filling ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco, and do not last as long as other types of fillings generally from three to 10 years.
Amalgam (silver) fillings
This type of filling used to be the most widely used filling. Amalgam fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. In the last 20 years, due to the concerns that dental amalgam contains elemental mercury, it has fallen out of favor as being the most common type of filling. The FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, the FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. The weight of credible scientific evidence reviewed by FDA does not establish an association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population. Clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems.
Gold fillings are made to order in a laboratory and then cemented into place. Gold inlays are well tolerated by gum tissues, and may last more than 20 years. For these reasons, many authorities consider gold the best filling material. However, it is often the most expensive choice and requires multiple visits.
Porcelain fillings are called inlays and are produced to order 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. Their cost is similar to gold.
One-Surface Filling, Two-Surface Filling, Three-Surface Filling...what is the difference?
Imagine a box sitting that is sitting on a table.
You can see five of the six sides (or surfaces). In dental terms, a tooth is like that.
There are five surfaces that can be filled. There is the front (mesial), back (distal), left side (ligula), right side (facial),
and top (occlusal). A one-surface filling is a filling that only involves one surface of a tooth. A two-surface filling would be a filling
that covers more than one side of the tooth. A three-surface filling, a really large filling, would cover three surfaces. An example of a three-surface filling
would be a tooth that is filled on the front (mesial), top (occlusal), and side (facial) surfaces.
If a very large filling is needed, sometimes the your dentist will recommend a dental crown, as it is more durable and likely to last.