Have a cavity and need a dental filling? Deciding on what filling material to use to treat dental decay is a choice that must be made by you and your dentist. Thanks to technological advances, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to fill cavities. Listed below are your options for dental fillings, each with information to help make your decision easier. If you have more questions, feel free to visit with our dentist in Idaho Falls today.
Amalgam fillings can be a great choice to restore and fill your dental cavity. Dental amalgam is the least expensive type of filling material. Each of the amalgam fillings are strong, long-lasting, and less likely to break than some other types of fillings.
- Least Expensive
- Less Likely to Break
When placing dental amalgam, the dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay, and then shapes the tooth cavity for placement of the amalgam filling. Next, under appropriate safety conditions, the dentist mixes the powdered alloy with the liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty. These components are provided to the dentist in a capsule as shown in the graphic. This softened amalgam putty is placed and shaped in the prepared cavity, where it rapidly hardens into a solid filling.
COMPOSITE OR WHITE FILLINGS
Among the choices for dental fillings are natural tooth-colored materials, such as resin-based composite fillings and more traditional dental fillings such as those made of metal amalgam. The advent of new materials for fillings has been beneficial, especially in terms of aesthetics, but does not eliminate the appropriateness of traditional dental materials that are stronger, more durable and less expensive. These materials are best in situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.