Fillings are used to replace a tooth's enamel once it has become decayed. Summit Dental Care offers several different materials in Seattle that can be used for the filling's material, including porcelain, composite resin, gold, and amalgam. Fillings are important to have inserted in order to repair the parts of the tooth that are decaying, as well as to restore the tooth back to its former strength and aesthetic.
How Are Dental Fillings Fitted?
When a patient comes into our office for their biannual appointment, our dentist will examine the patient's teeth. During this examination, our team may notice decay on the biting surface of one of the patient's teeth. This could be a result of not brushing teeth and a buildup of bacteria breaking down the enamel. While this does mean the permanent loss of natural enamel, it can easily be replaced by synthetic material.
The dentist will use local anesthesia when they remove the decayed part of the tooth and shape it to be ready for the filling. Once the tooth is ready, the filling is placed, pushed down to ensure the elimination of any air pockets, and smoothed. The top is polished, and then the process is complete. There will be some aftercare instructions to which the patient must adhere. Fillings are a routine procedure that are accomplished quickly and painlessly. Fillings can also be used for mild fractures. For moderate to severe fractures, however, crowns, inlays, or onlays will have to be used.
What Type of Dental Filling Should I Get?
Porcelain is a very popular type of filling because it is the most indistinguishable from the natural tooth. Not only can the color of the porcelain be matched to the patient's teeth, but the material itself gives off a gleam much like a natural tooth would. Porcelain fillings last over 15 years and can last even longer if kept in good condition. Gold is similar in price to porcelain and has been a popular choice for decades now. Gold fillings have earned their reputation through their durability, as they can last over 20 years.
Their aesthetic cannot match porcelain's aesthetic, as the gold is very conspicuous, so gold is often used for teeth towards the back of the mouth. Composite resin fillings are also very indistinguishable, like porcelain, and are ideal for use on the front teeth. Their color can be matched to the patient's natural teeth, but they last only 3 to 10 years, so composite resin cannot match the longevity of the previous two types of fillings. They are also liable to staining. Amalgam fillings are made from an alloy of several metals including zinc, tin, mercury and copper. This combination of metals is what makes them cheaper, in comparison to the other fillings, but it also makes them more noticeable. Amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years.
Summit Dental Care offers fillings in Seattle to fix minor decay and mild fractures. NamThien Vu, DDS wants to help you restore your tooth back to its former strength, and can help you decide which filling is best for you. To book an appointment for Seattle dental fillings, contact our office at 206-292-9980.