The biggest threat to your oral health involves tooth decay, which is why you practice proper oral hygiene at home and visit your Indianapolis dentist twice a year. Although it is preventable, it is one of the most chronic diseases in the United States. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 92% of adults have had a cavity in a permanent tooth. To stop the spread of the decay, a dental filling is used to treat the tooth. While you probably know about the dark metal fillings that are often used, did you know that you have other options? There are may different types of fillings that can be used to treat a cavity.
In the past, most cavities were treated with amalgam fillings, which are the dark metal ones that you easily recognize. They are made from a mixture of various metals, including half of their consistency being mercury. Although they have a long durability and are affordable, you often do not see them used very often. Their noticeable appearance and the concern for mercury exposure has left many seeking alternative options.
Another type of metal filling involves cast gold, which contain metals and gold alloys. Typically, they are used for inlays, onlays, and crowns. When compared to traditional metal fillings, they can last 5 years longer; however, they are far more expensive. While many find the gold appearance more appealing, they require a longer treatment process because an impression is needed.
To make fillings less noticeable, ceramics are used. Often, they are made from porcelain to provide a natural-looking appearance. Although they blend in with your enamel, they are not as durable as other materials. On average, they only last about 7 years while also being quite costly. In addition, it is not uncommon for them to break or crack.
Composite Resin Fillings
Now, composite resin fillings have become the preferred choice among patients and dentists. Using a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles, the material is customized to match your enamel color. Treating a tooth with the resin is easy. After being applied to the tooth, it is quickly hardened using a special light.
Although they do not last for as long as metal fillings, there is no risk for mercury exposure and they look natural. In addition, they provide a less invasive treatment because less drilling is required when treating the tooth.
Due to their benefits, they have all but made other fillings obsolete. Not only will they treat the decay, but they can also improve the appearance of a tooth while strengthening its structure.
Treat Your Tooth Decay Today
If you have a cavity, you do not have to choose a dark metal filling. Now, you can get an option that blends in with your smile while restoring the health of your tooth.
About Indianapolis Family Dentistry
Dr. Mark Farthing and Dr. Armin Tepner provide comprehensive dental care to promote the health and appearance of their patients’ smiles. In addition to preventive services, the offer restorative procedures, like dental fillings. With composite resin materials, they will restore your oral health while improving the appearance of your tooth. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation for a filling.