What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings consist of artificial substances that are used to fill in the holes on teeth which have cavities, or have become somehow decayed, damaged, or broken. Dental fillings are used to restore the stability and the original shape of a tooth, so that they can remain effective in chewing, and so no further damage is done to that specific tooth or those surrounding it.
Most often, dental fillings are used in cases of tooth decay, where cavities have developed in the enamel, but have not yet reached the pulp of the tooth. In some cases, dental fillings are also used to restore broken or injured teeth where the enamel has been chipped off, thus exposing the tooth to potential decay.
What Steps Are Involved in Filling a Tooth?
What Types of Filling Materials Are Available?
There are quite a few different materials which are commonly used as dental fillings. The first type is a tooth-colored filling or a composite resin. These dental filling materials are often used on the top of teeth, and they look very much like the original tooth. The traditional type of dental filling is a silver amalgam, and this is still widely used as a dental filling. These fillings are made of silver alloy and mercury, and are extremely durable.
Glass ionomer cement is another type of dental filling which is a self-hardening mixture composed of organic acid and glass. A resin ionomer cement is also a mixture of glass, organic acid, and a resin polymer, which solidifies when exposed to blue light. Porcelain is sometimes used as a temporary filling agent, and gold alloys are sometimes used for partial dentures and crowns. These are very durable, but they tend to be costly and are not commonly used as dental fillings.
Are there advantages and disadvantages to various filling materials?
Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Composites?
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