When you are in the dentist office in Roseville and the dentist tells you that you have a cavity that will require a filling, just exactly what is the dentist talking about? When the dentist has identified a tooth which is decayed it can be treated but first the decay must be removed, once it has been completely eliminated the resulting hole where the decay was, must be filled and the surface must be returned to the original tooth contour. A filling is perhaps the most commonly used method to restore a tooth.
The dentist has a number of options for the filling material but silver amalgam and tooth colored composite materials are the most commonly used. Every tooth filling material has certain advantages as well as disadvantages and the dentist will suggest the best for the particular circumstance.
Of all the various filling materials that are available to the dentist, silver amalgam is by far the most widely used. Amalgam is about 50 percent mercury with the remaining 50 percent made up from tin, silver, zinc and copper in differing degrees. Amalgam is popular because it is reasonably priced and easy to use as well as its inherent strength and durability. As the material is dark silver in color it may not be pleasing to look at but most amalgam fillings are used in the teeth that are hidden when smiling. Amalgam fillings will usually last 15 years or more before they have to be replaced.
Usually the dentist office in Roseville area will opt for a natural tooth colored composite filling if the affected tooth is visible when smiling. The color of the filling can be matched to the tooth. The material is placed and shaped while it is soft and then it is hardened when the material is exposed to a bright blue curing light. Composite fillings are made from a resin material and will require more frequent replacement as they are not as strong or durable as amalgam.
These fillings are made from porcelain; they too are tooth colored but are stronger than composite fillings. The added advantage of porcelain over composite is their ability to resist staining. Ceramic is somewhat more brittle than composite and has to be larger to prevent breakage.
For children many dentists recommend glass monomer fillings which last about five years and release fluoride which helps in preventing further decay of the affected tooth.