Do you have a cavity that needs a filling?
If so, you’re not alone. Almost all Americans have tooth decay, so you’ll most likely have a cavity that needs to be filled at some point in your life.
The best thing you can do is go to your dentist for regular checkups to catch a cavity early and get it filled and treated properly. Before you go, however, you probably have many questions about what a filling is and what to expect during the process.
Keep reading to learn more about what fillings are and the types of cavity fillings you may receive.
What is a Filling?
A filling is a type of treatment that stops tooth decay and restores your teeth’ normal shape and function. Cavities are decaying teeth, and they need to be treated to prevent more serious issues in the future. Avoiding getting a filling can lead to serious tooth damage, infections, and even tooth loss.
When you get to your dentist’s office, they will discuss every step of how the filling process works with you and what type of filling is best for you. Then they will numb the area, perform the procedure, and tell you what to expect next.
Some pain after a cavity filling is normal, and there are ways to manage it—click here to learn more.
What Are the Different Types of Cavity Fillings?
Not all fillings are created equally. There are many different types of fillings you can ask your dentist about. Some of the most common types include:
1. Gold Fillings
Gold fillings last a very long time, sometimes as long as 15 to 20 years. They are also solid and won’t corrode over time. The downside of gold fillings is that they are often noticeable on your teeth because of the color, and they are expensive.
2. Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver fillings are also firm and last a long time. However, also like gold fillings, many people don’t find them aesthetically pleasing because they are easily noticeable on your teeth.
3. Acrylic Fillings
Acrylic fillings are often used on children whose teeth are still changing. They only last a few years, ideal for children whose teeth are growing or may still fall out.
4. Composite Fillings
Composite fillings match your teeth, so they are pleasing to the eye. However, they are not as strong as gold or silver fillings and may need to be replaced in the future.
5. Ceramic Fillings
Ceramic fillings are popular because they are very strong but also look much more natural. They are made of porcelain, which can sometimes scratch teeth around the filling if it becomes rough over time.
Learn More About Good Oral Health
There are many different types of cavity fillings, and your dentist will discuss which type you’re getting in detail with you. Make sure you ask questions to feel comfortable with the process and know how to care for your filling properly.
For more information on fillings and other oral healthcare tips, make sure you check out the rest of our website.