In the United States, 92 percent of adults will have a cavity during their lifetimes, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Roughly 1 in 4 adults has an untreated cavity at any given time. By the age of 65, the average American adult has had nine fillings and lost a handful of teeth.
Brushing, flossing, and routine visits to Legacy Smiles dentist office in Billings, MT, for routine cleanings will reduce your risk of getting cavities.
But it may not stop all of them.
Given that more than 9 in 10 people will have a cavity at some point, you may want to know what kinds of dental fillings are available.
Kinds Of Fillings
Different dentist offices offer different types of dental fillings. Here are some of the most common types:
- Amalgam fillings
According to the FDA, amalgam fillings are made from a composite of mercury along with silver, tin, or copper. These are generally considered strong and durable fillings.
While the FDA considers amalgam fillings safe, they do note that they contain elemental mercury. This can be released as a low-level vapor. Mercury is something that can lead to bioaccumulation, which happens when a chemical slowly builds within organs or other tissues.
Amalgam fillings also look metallic, which is a problem for some patients.
An estimated 1 percent of patients will have an allergic reaction to the metals used in amalgam fillings.
- Gold fillings
Gold fillings are made with gold. They are also more expensive than other filling materials.
There have been instances in which problems have occurred when a gold filling was placed next to an amalgam filling. While rare, galvanic shock can occur. This is essentially an electric current that results from the interactions between the metals and the saliva in your mouth.
- Tooth-colored fillings
These are the fillings that we offer at Legacy Smiles. Let’s take a closer look at why these are our fillings of preference.
Advantages Of Tooth-Colored Fillings
► Better Bonding
The composite materials used to create tooth-colored dental fillings bond to your tooth on their own. This helps to make the fillings stronger.
► Easier On Teeth
With amalgam filling, the dentist may have to remove more of your tooth structure before the filling can be placed. With tooth-colored fillings, the dentist may be able to preserve more of the remaining healthy parts of your tooth.
Tooth-colored filling materials can be used for a wide range of purposes. In addition to fillings, this material can be used to fix broken and chipped teeth. It can restore the appearance of worn-down teeth.
► Visual Appeal
This may be the primary advantage of tooth-colored fillings compared to amalgam or gold fillings. It is difficult to hide the fact that you use fillings when your mouth flashes when you speak.
With tooth-colored fillings, your teeth will look like, well, teeth. This makes it less obvious that you’ve had any work done. This makes composite fillings a great option for any tooth the center of your mouth all the way to the back teeth.
The Best Filling
The absolute best filling you can get is no filling at all.
If you don’t develop cavities, if you don’t experience tooth decay, you can keep your teeth intact with minimal additional work.
We will reiterate the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth. These habits remove a lot of the bacteria and plaque, which cause cavities to form.
When you brush, remember to do so for two minutes each time twice each day. Remember to floss daily as well, which takes about a minute to finish.
Five minutes out of your day can go a long way toward fighting tooth decay.
When you visit our office, we will give your mouth a thorough cleaning and examination.
This will include a check with our DIAGNOdent. This marvel of modern dentistry allows us to detect the formation of cavities sooner than ever before. It could be the difference between a simple fix, a filling, or something more complex.
We all make mistakes and many people make mistakes when it comes to their dental care at one time or another.
That doesn’t make you a bad person, just a person who could use some help. The dentist and staff at Legacy Smiles want to be that helping hand for our patients in and around Billings, MT.
To find out if you need a filling or to schedule your next cleaning, fill out our online form or call us at (406) 794-3114.