New Materials for Dental Fillings Make an Attractive Smile
The cavity is a common problem seen in most dental practices, including my own. When decay breaks through the enamel, a tooth can no longer repair itself. If the decay reaches the inner tooth and the nerve, a toothache is a result. Not all cavities are the same. Nor are the materials used for dental fillings.
Most people, regardless of age, want their dental restorations, fillings, to look natural. Dentistry is moving away from the days of silver amalgam fillings toward the use of materials that match the natural teeth. Here are three of these:
Tooth-colored composite resin offers an affordable and attractive approach to filling cavities. It is frequently used to fill small cavities that are visible during smiling or talking. Composite resin bonds well to the tooth structure, and allows you to keep as much of your existing tooth structure as possible.
Inlays or Onlays
Inlays and onlays are a particular type of fillings that are made of composite resin, porcelain, or gold. The inlay is custom-made to fit a prepared cavity, while an onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. They are well suited for restoring large cavities. The cost per tooth varies with the different choice of materials. Gold and porcelain are more expensive and longer lasting than composite resin.
Crowns represent a long-lasting treatment alternative involving reducing the tooth and covering the remainder with a custom-made restoration, also known as a cap. Although it’s always preferable to preserve the structure of the natural tooth if a tooth is severely decayed or stained following the removal of a large filling, placing a crown may be the best option. The crown, although an expensive and quite intensive process, provides the most natural, long-lasting result.
The type of filling you and your dentist choose will depend on many factors, including the location of the tooth, the severity of the decay, and your preferences for the cost and time required for treatment. Let your dentist advise you on the best options for your situation.
Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.