Health

The Art of Dental Fillings: Restoring Tooth Health

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Dental fillings are common procedures that help repair decayed or damaged teeth in an attempt to restore the oral form, function, and aesthetics. The Buffalo Grove dentist and their team specialize in offering several types of dental fillings. Let us delve into the realm of fillings or restorations through this informative blog. 

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are a single or combination of metals, plastics, glass, or other materials used to repair or restore teeth. The most popular indication of using fillings is to fill an area of a tooth removed by your dentist due to decay. Fillings help repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down due to nail or pencil biting, and bruxism. 

What materials are dental fillings made from?

Dental filling materials include:

  • Gold
  • Porcelain
  • Silver amalgam
  • Tooth-colored plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings

What are indirect fillings?

Indirect fillings are similar to composite or tooth-colored fillings except that they are made in a dental lab and require two visits before being placed. These are often preferred when you do not have enough tooth structure to support a filling, and it is not so severely damaged that it requires a crown. 

Are silver amalgam fillings safe?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), silver (mercury-based) amalgam fillings are considered to be safe when handled by a skilled dentist under all the safety precautions. However, recently the FDA has issued guidelines to avoid silver fillings in:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who are planning to get pregnant
  • Nursing women
  • Children younger than six years of age 
  • People with pre-existing neurological diseases
  • People with impaired kidney function
  • People allergic to mercury 

Which are the most preferred dental fillings and why?

Composite fillings are the most preferred and popular dental fillings currently. This is because they offer excellent aesthetic value and are durable when taken care of. Most dentists prefer composites since it is easy to handle and does not pose hazardous risks like silver amalgam fillings. 

How should I care for my teeth with fillings?

Fillings restore your decayed or damaged teeth to rehabilitate them. They should be taken care of like your other natural teeth. This is possible by following good oral hygiene practices like:

  • Regular brushing twice daily
  • Flossing at least once per day
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Visiting the dentist regularly

If you notice any pain, sensitivity, or an obvious tooth cavity (hole), consult your dentist for further evaluation. They will evaluate your teeth and determine which dental filling suits your individual oral health conditions. 

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