Many patients don’t realize the number of options they have when it comes to filling a cavity. From amalgam silver fillings to composite tooth-colored fillings, patients may feel lost. Palmetto Dental Associates in North Myrtle Beach discuss the best way to fill a cavity is tooth-colored fillings.
How Does A Cavity Form?
Before we dive into the best way to fill a cavity, let’s discuss how a cavity can form. A cavity is tooth decay that has formed a hole in your tooth. Tooth decay can develop from the bacteria and sugars from food. This bacteria eats away the surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Once the decay breaks through the enamel, it reaches the dentin. At this point, Dr. Hortman may recommend a tooth colored filling to prevent the cavity from spreading. If the cavity spreads and reaches the inner layer of the tooth, called the pulp, then you may need a root canal. If untreated for too long, you may be at risk of losing the tooth. This is why getting a cavity filled when Dr. Hortman recommends it is important. Delaying treatment can put your oral health at risk.
Tooth Colored Fillings
A composite filling is another name for a tooth colored filling. This plastic-like material first appears as a putty-like substance. This allows Dr. Hortman to mold the filling into your cavity. Then, the filling is heat-fixed. Additionally, may patients prefer tooth colored fillings to other options because, as the name implies, the filling matches the color of your natural teeth.
Other Types of Fillings
The other two most common types of fillings are amalgam fillings and gold fillings. You may have heard, or even have, amalgam fillings. These are commonly known as silver fillings because the mercury, copper, tin, and silver mixture appear as a bright silver in your mouth. Many patients prefer tooth colored fillings over amalgam fillings because an amalgam filling may contain toxins in the mercury. Further, amalgam fillings do not match the natural color of your teeth and they can expand and contract when consuming hot or cold things, causing discomfort. Although gold fillings are more durable than amalgam or tooth colored fillings, gold fillings are more expensive and do not appear natural. This is why most of our North Myrtle Beach patients opt for tooth colored fillings over amalgam or gold fillings.
Filling a cavity is an important restorative dentistry treatment. Without attention, the cavity can worsen and become infected putting your oral and overall health at risk. For more information about tooth colored fillings or to plan your next visit at Palmetto Dental Associates, call our dental office!