Fill er’ Up!

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Teeth wear down; they get abused by hard candies, sticky sugary snacks, and other items that can cause decay or cracks.

Many people are under the false assumption that only children get cavities. Unfortunately like all machines, when our body and mouth get on in age, they naturally will be in need of repairs. If you are one of those folks who think cavities are only something candy-eating children get, maybe it’s time for a dental check-up. If you do go in for a check-up and find you have cavities that need fillings, below are some helpful tips to consider.

There are two basic types of fillings: silver amalgam and tooth-colored composite resin. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Silver fillings are durable and can last up to 15 years. Some people however, don’t like the look of the dark silver fillings, while they may be more economical.

There are a few disadvantage of silver amalgam fillings: greater healthy parts of the tooth often have to be removed, the amalgam may create discoloration to the tooth, the amalgam material may lend itself to more frequent cracks and fractures, and silver amalgam fillings contain mercury, an element known to be unsafe to humans in certain concentrations. Some may also be allergic to the amount of mercury used in silver amalgam fillings.

Tooth-colored composites are the best choice for filling material from an esthetic view, as they most closely match the color of a tooth. These composites also chemically bond to the tooth and they are versatile. Often there is less of the existing tooth structure that needs to be removed in comparison to an amalgam filling. However, these composites are less durable than an amalgam filling. Also, the tooth-colored composites can more easily chip and are slightly less economical.

There are also ceramic and glass ionomer fillings available.  If you would like to learn more about cavities and fillings, contact your neighborhood dentist. They will be more than happy to give you the complete run down on fillings, if you need them and which would be best for you.


Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: 100_1373.jpg

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