Even the most careful patients can still develop some form of tooth decay. Fillings help restore teeth damaged by decay to their normal function while preventing future decay. This procedure is also used to cover a space left behind by a root canal.
Cavities start small and gradually grow to the point where they risk infecting the tooth’s inner pulp where the nerves are present. Before it gets to this point, the decay can be removed, and the area plugged with a dental filling. At One Fine Smile, we can protect your teeth with our quality dental fillings in Oak Park.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is a material placed into a part of the tooth where decay is present. There are two main types of fillings available: composite (tooth-colored) and amalgam (metal). The filling is specifically done to preserve the integrity of the tooth and retain its shape and resiliency
Do I Need a Dental Filling?
An exam is done before having a filling placed to determine if you are a viable candidate. There are several reasons why a filling may be placed, and these include:
- You have a cavity (decay) that needs attention
- You have deep grooves in your teeth that could potentially become a problem with decay
- You have older metal fillings that you’d like to replace
- You have old fillings that have shrunken or become loose
What are the Different Types of Fillings?
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. The most common materials used for fillings include composite resin (tooth-colored fillings) and an amalgam:
- Composite tooth-colored fillings are matched to be the same color as your teeth and are therefore used where a natural appearance is desired. The ingredients are mixed and placed directly into the cavity, where they harden. Composites may not be the ideal material for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, due to their dark color, they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not usually used in very visible areas.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are produced to order in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth and resist staining. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth.