Dental Fillings: All You Need to Know

Female patient with open mouth receiving dental inspection at dentist's office

Dental Fillings: All You Need to Know

When it comes to getting a dental filling, you have plenty of options. At Koch Aesthetic Dentistry in Birmingham, Al, we believe that you should have all the information you need to make a knowledgeable decision about which type of filling best suits your needs. So keep reading to find out about all the available dental filling options and their pros and cons.

What Can I Expect From a Dental Filling?

If one of your teeth has a cavity, your dentist will first remove the decaying portion of the tooth and then fill the empty space with a dental filling. Fillings can also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth. 

When you come in for a dental filling, your dentist will first administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will use a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument to remove the decaying part of the tooth. Once the area has been cleared of debris and bacteria, your dentist will place a filling to seal the opening in the tooth and finish up by polishing the filling and ensuring your bite is comfortable.

What Are the Different Types of Fillings?

The type of filling your dentist will recommend will largely depend on the location and extent of your tooth’s decay, your insurance coverage, and the cost of filling material. The most popular filling types are: 

  • Gold – Can last up to 15 years and does not corrode; is higher cost. 
  • Ceramic – Made of porcelain, aesthetically pleasing option, durable, more expensive than silver fillings, are not as durable as silver. 
  • Laser composite fillings – A laser is used to harden the filling in a fraction of the time of a regular filling. Laser composite fillings are stronger and less likely to break over time. 
  • Composite resin fillings – Closely match the color of natural teeth and can be used to fix chipped, broken, or worn teeth, last approximately five years. 
  • Acrylic fillings – also called glass ionomers, are a good choice for children because their teeth are changing, are not very durable, and last less than five years. 

Silver amalgam fillings were used in the past, but are no longer advisable because of the dangers they pose. In fact, if you still have any silver fillings, it is advisable to remove them to eliminate your exposure to harmful metals present in the filling.

When is it Time for a Filling?

Despite many advancements in the dental field, one aspect remains the same – both adults and children continue to experience tooth decay. If not treated in time, tooth decay can lead to more serious dental problems like abscesses and tooth loss. Visiting your dentist every six months can ensure no decay or cavity goes unnoticed. 

At Koch Aesthetic Dentistry, we put your dental health first. During your appointment, Dr. Koch will go over different filling options, their pros, cons, and costs. When you come to us with your dental needs, you can be sure you are in great and caring hands!

Koch Aesthetic Dentistry For All Your Dental Needs

Dental cavities and decay can be unpleasant and painful. But even more importantly, untreated tooth decay can result in infection, abscesses, and tooth loss. If you are experiencing a toothache, it is safer and smarter to get it checked out by a professional right away. Let us take care of your teeth, so you can smile with confidence. Contact us today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Koch.