Using dental fillings to treat cavities is one of the most common types of routine dental care. The American Dental Association reports that approximately 91% of adults will experience at least one cavity in their permanent teeth at some point in time. Fortunately, the high demand for this type of dental work has led to developments that offer patients more options when treating tooth decay.
Routine dental care for cavities
Before a cavity can be filled, the decay must be removed from the tooth. While traditional drills are still used in many locations, some offices now offer laser dentistry for this step. This can help speed up the process while offering precise results with less noise. Once the tooth is free of decay, a filling is used to restore the shape and function of the tooth.
Types of dental fillings
When it comes to choosing the right type of dental filling for a cavity, patients now have several options. Currently, most people opt for tooth-colored fillings for a more discreet result. However, in certain situations, a metal filling may be the more appropriate choice. A dentist can help patients make the most appropriate selection based on age, dental history and the location of the affected tooth.
When a cavity is filled using a tooth-colored material, the results are more natural looking and less noticeable. Most patients prefer this option when receiving routine dental care for decay towards the front of the mouth. However, some patients can also enjoy the discretion of these materials on back teeth when decay is not too severe. Tooth-colored fillings can be made of:
- Resin composite (a combination of porcelain and plastic)
- Glass ionomer (a combination of acrylic and glass, infused with fluoride)
While porcelain and resin composite are used on exposed tooth areas, glass ionomer fillings are typically used to treat decay below the gum line.
Composite fillings, a popular choice among dentists and patients, can be easily adjusted to match the natural shade of a person's teeth. This type of repair usually lasts for approximately five years in adults with proper oral care. Porcelain fillings, which can also be tinted for a realistic finish, tend to last between 10 and 15 years in a healthy adult.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Routine Dental Care in Long Beach, CA.
Amalgams and metals
Traditional fillings were made from amalgam, a combination of silver, tin, copper, mercury and zinc. Patients can also request gold fillings. Both materials are still considered safe by the FDA and are incredibly durable, lasting around 15 years in most patients.
Due to its longevity, amalgam is still used for severe decay in some children. However, the silver appearance can be unsightly. In situations that require the strength of metal, a composite filling can be reinforced with stainless steel, offering patients the best of both worlds when needed.
Cavity treatment is a form of routine dental care that most adults will deal with at some point in life. Fortunately, there are tooth-colored filling options that can help make the work appear more natural. A dentist can offer guidance when making the appropriate choice for a patient's needs.
Request an appointment or call Paramount Dental Care & Specialty at 562-450-1261 for an appointment in our Long Beach office.
Patients who approach a cosmetic dentist with concerns related to misshapen or broken teeth may hesitate to go on dates, call friends on a video chat platform, hold virtual meetings, or even speak and laugh at social gatherings. Damaged and misaligned teeth, a smile that is discolored, large gaps in teeth, or unsightly fillings can…
Early orthodontic treatment assists with preventing serious, unfixable mouth and teeth alignment problems, or malocclusions, later on. Early treatment may also save time and money. Individuals with bite misalignments or crooked teeth should seek regular orthodontic care as soon as possible to help avoid worse complications and gain a healthier, more functional mouth.Orthodontists first perform…
Dental veneers from a cosmetic dentist can correct issues with a person's smile, such as gaps in the teeth, crowding, or mild misalignment, and improve the overall appearance. Establishing a regular routine to care for dental veneers can prolong the life and maintain the aesthetic appeal of the veneers.In many ways, caring for dental veneers…