Colorado Springs, CO
When a cavity develops from tooth decay, the need arises to have it treated. To do this, our team at SmileCOS Dentistry will thoroughly clean the problematic tooth. After the dental cleaning, a hole will be remaining. One of our Colorado Springs dentists, either Andrew Miller, DDS or Francisco Darquea, DDS, will then fill the hole so that the filling is right and decay will be eliminated. There are typically five different kinds of dental fillings dentists commonly use to fill a cavity.
Silver Amalgam Dental Fillings
A filling using silver amalgam is commonly used among all of the different types of fillings. Besides silver, it is combined with copper, mercury, and tin.
This filling is a nice option due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. Normally, this filling will be able to last for 10 years or more.
The use of silver amalgam is easy to be fitted by a dentist and there is very little to worry about with these types of fillings. The patient may not find it to be too pleasing on the eyes, as silver fillings are very noticeable, which would mean it should be used only on teeth that are not visible.
Composite Tooth Dental Fillings
A composite tooth filling is a material consisting of plastic and resin which is soft as it fills in the cavity and then gets hard as blue light cures it. This is another option that is popular due to the ability to blend in with the color of the teeth.
This makes it not so obvious as compared to the silver amalgam. However, composite tooth fillings are not known to be long-lasting by comparison.
Ceramic Tooth Dental Fillings
A ceramic tooth filling is porcelain-based and has a nice appearance, in addition to its strength.
You will notice them being the same color as a natural tooth. They are also able to repel any staining and resist any scraping.
In light of that, a ceramic tooth filling is not as strong of a material. It must therefore be thicker so that breaking does not occur. This also means there must be more space for the extra filling.
Glass Ionomer Tooth Dental Fillings
Having a glass ionomer tooth filling caters to children with growing teeth. These acrylic types of fillings provide fluoride that will prevent decay and keep the tooth protected.
The downside is that they will only be good for a few years before needing to be replaced. Their strength is not as much as others so their chances for cracking are much higher.
This filling also is not an exact match to the color of the teeth. This is usually not an issue for patients since they will be eventually replaced in the future.
Gold Tooth Dental Fillings
It should be no surprise that a gold tooth filling won't be cheap. Not only that, but gold is not a common type of filling.
Finding a restorative dentist who provides gold fillings can be difficult. Also, it may require multiple dental appointments in order for it to properly be fitted.
The good thing about gold is that it has a tremendous amount of strength. It will also outlast other filling types.
Onlays and Inlays
People experiencing tooth decay are likely to have more tooth damage and eventually tooth loss if no treatment is provided. Different treatments for decayed teeth exist at our dental office. Crowns and fillings may be used to fix cavities and decay, as well as root canal therapy. However, depending on the nature of the decay or cavities, crowns and fillings may not always solve the problem. That is why our dental team at recommends other treatment options for cavities such as onlays and inlays. In situations where fillings and crowns are unable to effectively fix tooth decay or a cavity, you may consider onlays and inlays. Our dentist examines the decayed tooth to establish the most suitable treatment that can protect the teeth and prevent more damage from occurring.
What are Onlays and Inlays?
Dentists refer to inlays and onlays as indirect fillings because they are constructed outside the mouth and then fitted onto the teeth. Both inlays and onlays work to fix a large cavity. They also serve to enhance the strength of the teeth. Based on the shape and depth of cavities, inlays and onlays can be shaped to properly fill the gap or opening. These dental restorations are made of porcelain, though other materials may also be used to fabricate them.
When to Receive Onlays and Inlays
In situations where crowns are just too much to provide the protection needed for decay, our dentist recommends inlays and onlays. Moreover, if the installation of dental fillings does not seem to offer the cover and protection needed for decayed teeth, the dentist may use inlays and onlays to provide sufficient coverage.
Inlays and Onlays Placement Procedure
Primarily, inlays and onlays replace a fractured or damaged filling. A visit to our office allows our dental professionals to remove the remaining filling from the cavity. If there is any cavity remaining, the dentist removes it. The dentist will take an impression of the teeth and use the mold as a model to determine the filling material to use. The dentist helps you select the material as well as the color you prefer.
You will receive a temporary filling to protect the cavity as the inlays or onlays are being fabricated in the lab. These temporary fillings, as the name suggests, only offer a temporary solution. They prevent more damage or decay from occurring during the time you are at home waiting for the permanent onlays or inlays to be constructed. The temporary restorations protect the tooth from thermal stimulation. Once your permanent restorations are ready, you will make another visit to our office to allow our dentist to fit them. The dentist administers an anesthetic to ensure a comfortable and painless procedure. The dentist removes the temporary restorations and places the permanent inlays or onlays.
Taking Care of the Restorations
While inlays and onlays can endure for long and are durable, if you fail to take proper care of them, they will not meet their lifespan. You can expect inlays to survive for five to 30 years depending on the material of fabrication and the level of care you give them.
You should brush and floss as our dentist advises in order to extend the life of the onlays and inlays. Wearing a night mouthguard is vital if you grind your teeth at night because it helps protect the restorations and the teeth. Also, avoid consuming hard foods because they can crack or fracture the restoration material.
No matter which type of filling you need, our professional Colorado Springs dentists at SmileCOS Dentistry will easily perform the necessary procedure. Give us a call at (719) 394-3304 today!